Alternanthera sessilis

Alternanthera sessilis (L.) R. Br. ex. DC.

Family       : Amaranthaceae

Common Name : പൊന്നാംകണ്ണി ചീര  (Mal)

             Sessile joyweed  (Eng)


     IUCN Status     : Least Concern (LC)↑ 

Decumbent herbs, stem glabrous. Leaves simple, opposite, 3-4 x 1 cm, elliptic-oblong to oblanceolate, apex obtuse, base attenuate into a petiole, crenate, glabrous. Spike 7-12 x 5 mm, sessile, solitary or 2-3 together; bracts and bracteoles similar, 1 mm long, broadly ovate, acute, glabrous. Flowers yellowish-red or white. Tepals equal, 2.5 x 1.5 mm, ovate, acute, glabrous, 3-nerved at base. Stamens 3; filament 0.3 mm long, anther minute; staminodes entire. Utricle 2 x 2 mm, obovoid, emarginate at apex; seed orbicular, compressed, brown.

Stalkless Joyweed is a perennial herb, often found in and near ponds, canals and reservoirs. It prefers places with constant or periodically high humidity and so may be found in swamps, shallow ditches, and fallow rice fields. A much branched prostrate herb, branches often purplish, frequently rooting at the lower nodes; leaves simple, opposite, somewhat fleshy, lanceolate, oblanceolate or linear-oblong, obtuse or subacute, sometimes obscurely denticulate, glabrous, shortly petiolate; flowers small, white, in axillary clusters; fruits compressed obcordate utricles, seeds suborbicular. In Manipur, tender shoots and leaves are eaten cooked with rice along with fermented soyabean. Stalkless Joyweed is found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 200-2000 m.


Ponnanganni keerai or leaves are one of the best sources for treatment of eye related problems. Fresh leaves are applied as such on the eye lids to cure inflammation in the sebaceous glands of the eyelids. It also cures chronic inflammation in the eyes and conjunctivitis.

The paste prepared from the leaves are applied tropically on the affected areas to draw out from the body stings and spines.

Powdered dry ponnanganni leaves are applied externally to remove the effect of poison due to snakebites. It can be applied along with other first-aids given for snake bites.



Flowering & Fruiting : Throughout the year