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Useful Tropical Plants

Micrococca mercurialis

(L.) Benth.

Euphorbiaceae

+ Synonyms

Claoxylon mercurialis (L.) Thwaites

Mercurialis abyssinica Hochst. ex Pax & K.Hoffn.

Mercurialis alternifolia Lam.

Microstachys mercurialis (L.) Dalzell & A.Gibson

Tragia mercurialis L.

Common Name:

Micrococca mercurialis
Drawing of the leaves and flowers
Photograph by: Rumphius, G.E., Herbarium amboinense, vol. 6: p. 49, t. 20, fig. 2 (1750)
Creative Commons License

General Information

Micrococca mercurialis is an annual plant growing up to 60cm tall[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. The leaves are a very popular food in Uganda, where they are commonly sold in local markets. The plant is also cultivated in gardens in Uganda and is often protected when growing wild or as a weed[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.

Range

Tropical Africa - Mauritania and Senegal to Ethipoia, south to Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar; through Arabia to Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia

Habitat

Open places in woodland and bushland, along rivers and shores, commonly in ruderal habitats, sometimes as a weed, at elevations from sea-level up to 1,700 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.50 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Semi-cultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details



The plant is often found as a weed in gardens and fields within its native range[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The species Micrococca mercurialis comprises a polyploidal complex that is selected by climate, which determines the duration of the growth cycle. There are three forms:
2n = 20 The diploid form, it is found in the dry sudan zone and has a short growth cycle[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
2n = 40 The tetraploid form, it is found in the intermediate guinean zone[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
2n = 60 The hexaploid form, it is found in the humid dense forest zone and has a long or continuous growth cycle[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. An acid flavour[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. In Uganda the leaves are widely used as a vegetable and the method of preparation and popularity differs by region. They can be dried and pounded to a powder for storage and later use, lasting in good condition for a year or more[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Medicinal

The plant is used to treat fever in children[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The plant sap is instilled into the nose, eyes or ears to treat headache, filariasis of the eye and otitis, respectively[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-17. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Micrococca+mercurialis>

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