A TAXONOMIC REVISION OF THE GENUS BOERHAVIA L. (NYCTAGINACEAE) IN INDIA–  Dutta Pramanick Debasmita, G. G. Maiti and M. S. Mondal- Journal of Global Biosciences- Volume 4, Number 3, 2015, pp. 1704-1717 (Abstract- The genus Boerhavia L. is a pantropical taxon, distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of both Old and New World. In the present paper, taxonomic revision of the genus in India has been undertaken by the authors to provide detailed taxonomic accounts of infra-generic taxa. A key has been provided for easy identification of the species)
Key to the studied Species of Boerhavia L.:
1a. Plant erect; anthocarps obconic, truncate at top, glabrous, eglandular, with 5 longitudinal plicate ribs …….. 3. B. erecta
1b. Plant diffuse; prostrate or straggling; anthocarps otherwise …….. (2)
2a. Leaf-blades lanceolate, or linear, or elliptic; pedicels 2-4 cm long ……… 4. B. rubicunda (syn. of Boerhavia elegans subsp. elegans as per Catalogue of life. However, only Boerhavia elegans subsp. stenophylla (Boiss.) A. G. Miller has distribution in India as per Catalogue of Life)
2b. Leaf-blades ovate, or orbicular, or oblong, or subcordate; pedicels smaller ………… (3)
3a. Plant robust, scaberulously pubescent; leaf-blades 1.5-3 x 1.2-2.9 cm, scabrid on both the surfaces, margin crisped …….. 1. B. crispa (Tamilnadu and Karnataka– not common. Grows on bouldery, grassy slopes in forest plantations in a dry locality)
3b. Plant diffused to slender, almost glabrous; leaf-blades 3-5 x 2-3.5 cm, glabrous above, margin entire or slightly undulate ……… 2. B. diffusa

Boerhavia diffusa L.

Images by J.M.Garg




















Binomial Habit Notes References Distribution Common name
Heyne ex Hook.f.
Herb Western Ghats,
Dry Deciduous  Forests
Flora of Tamil
Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Boerhavia diffusa L. Herb Plains
, Dry Localities
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Boerhavia erecta L. Herb Plains,
Naturalized, Native of Tropical America
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987; Matthew 1983
Boerhavia helenae Schultes (syn. of Commicarpus helenae (J. A. Schult.) Meikle) Herb Plains,
Dry Localities
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987

Botanical name Family Common name


Boerhavia diffusa Nyctaginaceae Red Spiderling
Boerhavia erecta Nyctaginaceae Erect Spiderling


Flora of Ranga Reddi District Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, M. Silar Mohammed (2000)- Details-

Flora of Davanagere District, Karnataka, India By B. K. Manjunatha, V. Krishna, T. Pullaiah (2004)- Details with keys

An Excursion Flora of Central Tamilnadu, India By K. M. Matthew (1995)- Details with keys

Boerhavia repens L. (no distribution as per Catalogue of Life)

Flora of Medak District, Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, Chintala Prabhakar, B. Ravi Prasad Rao (1998)- Details with keys

Boerhavia repens L. (no distribution as per Catalogue of Life)
Boerhavia verticillata Poir. is a synonym for Commicarpus
(J. A. Schult.) Meikle

Boerhavia : 1 post by 1 author.

I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Boerhavia

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

If someone can provide complete list of Indian species with source references it will be wonderful.

Any comments/ corrections are welcome.

Pl. go through Boerhavia and Commicarpus ‎(Nyctaginaceae) page with images of species in efloraofindia.

If you find any incorrect identification, pl. let us know. If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), if any, or can identify unidentified images, it will be really nice.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *