There appears to be considerable misunderstanding of this taxon. Many treatments refer to it as Borreria laevis (Lam.) Griseb. However, we are using the original name, Spermacoce laevis, which has been accepted for conservation and is treated as the correct name in the 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families' and many other recent publications. Just to complicate the situation further, however, some treatments accept neither name, instead treating this taxon as a synonym of Spermacoce tenuior L.[
Borreria capitellata (Willd.) Cham. & Schltdl.
Borreria herbert-smithii Rusby
Borreria laevis (Lam.) Griseb.
Spermacoce capitellata Willd.
Spermacoce guianensis Bremek
Spermacoce riparia Cham. & Schltdl.
Tardavel laevis (Lam.) Standl.
Spermacoce laevis is an erect, annual to perennial plant, mainly branched from the base. The stems can be decumbent or ascending, the plant growing 15 - 50cm tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local medicinal use.
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - southern Mexico to central Mexico[ Caribbean.
Grassland, along roadsides, in rice fields, often on hard soils, often abundant, at elevations from sea-level up to 1,200 metres, occasionally to 2,000 metres[
A plant of tropical and subtropical regions with a short or pronounced rainy season[
Prefers a sunny or lightly shaded position[
The leaves, mixed with the scraped roots of Desmodium sequax, rhizomes of wild ginger and ash, are applied for toothache[
A decoction of the plant is used in the treatment of colds, and as an emmenagogue[
The crushed plant is applied topically to cuts and burns[
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