Tropical Chickweed
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Tropical Chickweed
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Tropical Chickweed, chickweed, drymaria, heartleaf drymary, West Indian chickweed • Adi: Kaira • Assamese: Laijabori • Hindi: Pithpapra • Manipuri: ꯇꯟꯗꯜ ꯄꯥꯝꯕꯤ তন্দল পাম্বী Tandal pambi • Nepali: अभिजालो Abhiijaalo • Tangkhul: Biviyena • Mizo: Changkalrit
Botanical name: Drymaria cordata    Family: Caryophyllaceae (Carnation family)
Synonyms: Stellaria adenophora, Drymaria procumbens, Alsine rotundifolia

Tropical Chickweed is a prostrate herb with dichotomous branching. Leaves are very broadly ovate, almost round, with heart-shaped base, carried on stalks up to 1 cm. Leaves are hairless, 1-3.5 x 0.6-3 cm, 3-7-nerved at base. Tiny flowers are borne in cymes at branch ends or in leaf axils, often loose on long slender stalks and with slender branches. Sepals are narrowly lanceshaped, green with white margin. Petals are white, about 3 mm, very deeply divided into two. Tropical Chickweed is native to Africa, America and Asia. Tender leaves and shoots are eaten as vegetable with small dry fish in NE India. It is found in the Himalayas at altitudes of 200-2400 m.
Medicinal uses: The pounded leaf is applied to snake bites in China. The plant is appetizer, depurative, emollient, febrifuge, laxative and stimulant. The juice of the plant is used. Tropical Chickweed is widely used in traditional African medicine for the treatment of diverse ailments including painful and febrile conditions.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Chikmagalur, Karnataka & Soureni, Mirik, Darjeeling area.

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