Aerva lanata

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Aerva lanata
Aerva lanata Blanco2.354.png
Aerva lanata var. rotundifolia
Scientific classification
A. lanata[1]
Binomial name
Aerva lanata
  • Achyranthes lanata L.
  • Achyranthes villosa Forssk.
  • Aerva arachnoidea Gand.
  • Aerva incana Suess.
  • Aerva mozambicensis Gand.
  • Aerva sansibarica Suess.
  • Illecebrum lanatum (L.) L.

Aerva lanata (mountain knotgrass) is a woody, prostrate or succulent, perennial herb in the Amaranthaceae family of the genus Aerva, native to Asia, Africa. It has been included as occurring in Australia by the US government,[1] but it is not recognised as occurring in Australia by any Australian state herbarium.[3] The plant sometimes flowers in the first year.[4][5]

A. lanata is a common weed which grows wild everywhere in the plains of India. The root has a camphor-like aroma. The dried flowers which look like soft spikes, are sold under the commercial names Buikallan and Boor. It is one of the plants included in Dasapushpam, the ten sacred flowers of Kerala.


Aerva lanata From Kerala.

Mountain knotgrass is an annual with a branching, somewhat woody root system. The stems are mostly straggling and sprawling and spread widely, sometimes as much as 6 feet (1.8 m) in length. The often stalkless leaves are alternate, oval and 0.5 to 1.5 in (13 to 38 mm) long. They grow from whitish papery stipules with two lobes and red bases. The tiny clusters of two or three flowers grow in the leaf axils. The flowers are about 0.1 in (2.5 mm) long, pink, green or dull white. The flowers are normally self-pollinated. Flowering time is from May to October.[6][unreliable source?]


in thrissur, kerala

A. lanata prefers damper sites than A. javanica and can be found in open forests on mountain slopes, on waste and disturbed ground, deserted cultivation and coastal scrub[4] and at altitudes from sea level to 900 m (3,000 ft).[7] It is a common weed in arable fields and bare patches of ground.

Northeast Tropical Africa: Ethiopia, Somalia
East Tropical Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
West-Central Tropical Africa: Cameroon, Rwanda, Zaire
West Tropical Africa: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Benin
South Tropical Africa: Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
Southern Africa: South Africa - Natal, Transvaal
Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar
Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia
Indian Subcontinent: India, Sri Lanka
Malesia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines
Australasia: Queensland[1]


This plant is used for food for people and animals. The whole plant, especially the leaves, is edible. The leaves are put into soup or eaten as a spinach or as a vegetable. The plant provides grazing for stock, game and chickens. The plant is used as a traditional medicine for snakebites.[6][unreliable source?]

The plant is also used as a talisman against evil spirits, a good-luck talisman for hunters, and a talisman for the well-being of widows.[5]

In the traditional medicine of India, the juice of crushed Aerva lanata root is used for jaundice therapy.[8]

Antioxidant activity[edit]

The aqueous extract of A. lanata stem possess in vitro antioxidant activity.[9]

Common names[edit]

  • Bengali: cofee
  • Dhivehi: Hudhu huipila
  • Duk.: Kul -ke -jar, Kා්්
  • Hindi:Gorakhbuti or Kapuri jadi
  • Kannada: Bilesuli
  • Malayalam: Cherula
  • Marathi: Kapuri-madhura
  • Odisha: Paunsia
  • Punjabi: Bui-kaltan (flowers as sold in bazaars)
  • Rajasthani: Bhui
  • Sanskrit: Astmabayda[7]
  • Sindhi: Bhui, Jari
  • Sinhalese: Pol pala
  • Tamil: Sirru -pulay -vayr
  • Telugu: Pindi-kura, Pindi-chettu
  • Trans-Indus: Asmei, Spirke, Sasai
  • Swahili: Kinongo
  • Luganda: Olweeza
  • Akan-Asante bameha
  • Abure n-tanfa
  • Akye: munongbe
  • Baule akopinolé
  • Guere (Chiehn) ura ore, wore oré (K&B) wulo wulé (B&D)


  1. ^ a b c "Aerva lanata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  2. ^ "Aerva lanata (L.) Juss. ex Schult. record n° 177". African Plants Database. South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Tela Botanica. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  3. ^ "Search: SPECIES: Aerva lanata". The Australasian Virtual Herbarium. Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  4. ^ a b Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. "Amaranthaceae by C. C. Townsend". Flora Zambesiaca. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 9 (part:1). Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  5. ^ a b Aluka. "Entry for Aerva lanata (Linn.) Juss. [family AMARANTHACEAE]". African Plants. Ithaka Harbors, Inc. doi:10.5555/AL.AP.UPWTA.1_130 (inactive 2019-03-08). Archived from the original on 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  6. ^ a b "Aerva lanata". Medicinal Plants Used For Snake Treatment. Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  7. ^ a b Robert Freedman (20 January 1998). "Famine Foods - AMARANTACEAE". Purdue University. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2008.
  8. ^ Tewari D, Mocan A, Parvanov ED, Sah AN, Nabavi SM, Huminiecki L, Ma ZF, Lee YY, Horbańczuk JO, Atanasov AG. Ethnopharmacological Approaches for Therapy of Jaundice: Part I. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Aug 15;8:518. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00518.
  9. ^ Kumar G, Karthik L, Rao KVB (2013). "Phytochemical composition and in vitro antioxidant activity of aqueous extract of Aerva lanata (L.) Juss. ex Schult. Stem (Amaranthaceae)". Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 6 (3): 180–187. doi:10.1016/S1995-7645(13)60020-6.

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