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NEURADA PROCUMBRENS/ Creeping Thorn

Scientific Name: Neurada procumbrens

Local Name: Sa’dan

Common Name: Sand button

 

Botanical Description

Annual with numerous prostrate branches radiating from the base.

Leaves

Oblong, relatively thick with clear midrib, wavy margins and bluntly rounded tip on a 1 cm stalk.

Flowers

Solitary in leaf axils with small 5 petals, white in colour.

Fruits

A distinctive flat disc, rough and spiny above, smooth beneath, becoming woody, remains as collar around base stem of new plants; the spiny discoid fruits cling very easily to fur and clothes or are embedded in shoe soles and feet facilitating seed dispersal.

Flowering

From February to May.

 

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Phylum: Tracheophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Malvales

Family: Neuradaceae

Genus: Neurada L.

Species: Neurada procumbens L.

 

Habitat and Distribution:

A distinctive low-‐lying annual herb that is adapted to dry, sandy environments, Neurada procumbens has branching stems that lie flat on the ground and dense hairs that give it a wooly appearance. A wide-‐ranging plant occurs from North Africa and the Mediterranean region, across the Middle East to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwestern India.

 

Parts Used:

Aerial parts and fruit heads

 

Traditional and Medicinal Use:

Medical uses for increasing blood pressure and hair growth. Young fruit used to be eaten by Bedouins. In addition, dried powder of the whole plant was given with milk or water early in the morning to the patient suffering from heat stroke. It is also a good tonic plant. Grazing is locally believed to produce the best milk. (Milk and yoghurt were some of the essential items in Bedouin diet, together with rice, dates, coffee and meat from their animals.)

Young fruits used to be eaten by Bedouins.

 

Adaptation:

It adapted to the desert climate with its leaves covered by white hair to reflect sun and its spiky fruit that gets easily attached to animal fur and can reach remote areas.