Aerva lanata

Aerva lanata (Linn.) Juss.

Family     : Amaranthaceae

Common Name  : ചെറുള (Mal)

        Polpala (Eng)  

Perennial herbs, suffrutescent below, decumbent or erect, branched from the base; branches striate with dense whitish or yellowish, woolly tomentum. Leaves alternate, 1-5 x 0.5-3.5 cm, suborbicular to ovate-elliptic, cuneate at the base, rounded to acute at apex, usually densely lanate or canescent on the lower surface and more thinly so above; petioles up to 2 cm long. Spikes solitary or usually in axillary clusters on the main stems or long to very short axillary branches, 0.4-2 x 0.3-0.4 cm, white to creamy, forming a long inflorescence of spikes. Flowers bisexual. Tepals densely lanate dorsally, outer 2 tepals hyaline, oval-oblong, abruptly contracted at the tip to a distinct mucro, c.1.2 mm; inner 3 slightly shorter and narrower, acute with a broad central green vitta along the midrib. Staminal filaments basally connate, 0.5 mm, staminodes subulate. Style and two short, divergent stigmas together as long as the ovary. Utricle broadly ovoid; seed subglobose, smooth, shining, brown.


The plant is used as a traditional medicine for snakebites. 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. In the traditional medicine of India, the juice of crushed Aerva lanata root is used for jaundice therapy..


Widespread in the tropics and subtropics.

Flowering & Fruiting :