An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

RED SPIDERLING

Illustration

FOUR O'CLOCK FAMILY-Nyctaginaceae

RED SPIDERLING-Boerhaavia coccinea Mill.

DESCRIPTION-A stout perennial with tough, prostrate stems radiating outward from a thick woody root and ascending at the ends, 1 to 6 feet long. The stems, often with sticky yellow bands above, are usually noticeably hairy, especially near the base. The leaves are similar to those of courter spiderling, and are densely hairy to hairless. Some plants, however, are almost hairless.

In maturity, the flowering part is copiously branched with myriads of tiny threadlike stems, and the flowers occur in umbrellalike clusters of 3 to 25 at the tips of these stems. The flowers are deep reddish purple. The fruits, also 5-ribbed and about 1/8 inch long, are hairy and covered by glands which contain a very sticky substance.

DISTRIBUTION-This and coulter spiderlings are the most common spiderlings in Arizona, but red spiderling is more troublesome since it is perennial, and thus harder to eradicate. Found in the same type of places as courter spiderling, this weed grows from Greenlee, Yavapai, and Mohave counties southward; 130 to 7,000 feet elevation; flowering May to November or December; mostly August to October.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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