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Useful Tropical Plants

Richardia scabra

L.

Rubiaceae

+ Synonyms

Plethyrsis glauca Raf.

Richardia cubensis A.Rich.

Richardia pilosa Ruiz & Pav.

Richardia procumbens Sessé & Moc.

Richardsonia cubensis A.Rich.

Richardsonia pilosa (Ruiz & Pav.) Kunth

Richardsonia scabra (L.) A.St.-Hil.

Spermacoce hirsute Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.

Spermacoce involucrata Pursh

Common Name: Mexican Clover

Richardia scabra
Flowering plant
Photograph by: Eleanor
Creative Commons License
Richardia scabra Richardia scabra Richardia scabra Richardia scabra

General Information

Mexican clover is a loosely branched annual plant that can grow up to 80cm tall but is more commonly prostrate[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
The root is sometimes gathered from the wild for medicinal use, where it is said to have similar properties to the widely used Ipecac (Cephaelis ipecacuanha). The plant is cultivated in southern N. America as a forage plant, green manure and soil cover[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

72
Title
Manual of the Southeastern Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Small J.K.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
University of N. Carolina Press.
Year
1933
ISBN
 
Description
Getting rather dated now, an immense work covering the flora of Southeastern N. America. No pictures, it is not for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

S. America - Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru, north through the Caribbean and through Central America to southern N. America.

Habitat

Sandy soils, especially in cultivated fields[
72
Title
Manual of the Southeastern Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Small J.K.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
University of N. Carolina Press.
Year
1933
ISBN
 
Description
Getting rather dated now, an immense work covering the flora of Southeastern N. America. No pictures, it is not for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Sandy savannahs and grasslands, on roadsides, turf and in cultivated fields and waste areas.

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.80 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Prefers a sunny position. Grows well in dry, sandy soils[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant has spread widely from its native range and has been declared an invasive weed in some areas[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The root has been used as a substitute for Ipecac[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. Known as 'undulated', 'amylaceous', or 'white' Ipecac, it does not contain more than 6 per cent, of the active ingredient[
460
Title
Flora Medica
Publication
 
Author
Lindley J.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Longman, Orme, Brown, Green and Longmans: London
Year
1838
ISBN
 
Description
A massive work - many of the botanical names have changed, but the book is still a wealth of information.
].
The roots of ipecac contain a number of medically active constituents including isoquinoline alkaloids, tannins and glycosides[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
]. They have a violently irritant action, stimulating the gastric and bronchial systems, lowering fevers and preventing cyst formation in amoebic dysentery[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is grown as a green manure and to provide soil cover[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -

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