Polycarpon prostratum (Forssk.) Asch. & Schweinf.

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Polycarpon prostratum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Sandy banks of Urema River, Gorongosa National Park

Polycarpon prostratum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Sandy banks of Urema River, Gorongosa National Park

Polycarpon prostratum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Sandy banks of Urema River, Gorongosa National Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Alsine prostrata Forssk.
Pharnaceum depressum L.
Common names:
Status: Probably native
Annual herb with ascending spreading branches. Leaves opposite or subwhorled, subsessile, oblanceolate, pubescent, 0.3-3 cm long; margin entire. Stipules whitish, membranous, 1-2 mm. Inflorescences of terminal or axillary, many-flowered cymes. Sepals 3-4 mm, broad green in the middle and with whitish hyaline margins. Petals 5 (less often 2-3 or 0), membranous, acute. Stamens 3-5. Capsule ellipsoid, shorter than the persistent sepals, with 3 membranous valves.
Derivation of specific name: prostratum: lying flat on the ground; prostrate
Habitat: In open sandy habitats, often as a weed of lawns and areas of cultivation
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Pantropical species, sometimes occurring in the subtropics
Mozambique distribution: T,MS,GI
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Saturday 12 March 2016

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 45. As Polycarpon prostratum prostratum

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 32. as Polycarpon prostratum var. prostratum

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 45.

Wild, H. (1960-1). Caryophyllaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(2) Pages 339 - 341. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Polycarpon prostratum:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Polycarpon prostratum
Flora of Caprivi: Polycarpon prostratum
Flora of Malawi: Polycarpon prostratum
Flora of Zambia: Polycarpon prostratum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Polycarpon prostratum

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Polycarpon prostratum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Polycarpon prostratum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Polycarpon prostratum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Polycarpon prostratum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Polycarpon prostratum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Polycarpon prostratum
JSTOR Plant Science: Polycarpon prostratum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Polycarpon prostratum
Plants of the World Online: Polycarpon prostratum
Tropicos: Polycarpon prostratum
Wikipedia: Polycarpon prostratum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Polycarpon prostratum.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=123310, retrieved 4 December 2023

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