Boerhavia scandens

Boerhavia scandens L.

Synonym: Commicarpus scandens

Common Names: Gome Bush, Chick Weed

Family: Nyctaginaceae

HabitBoerhavia scandens grows as a decumbent perennial herb, with ascending inflorescences, spreading outward up to 4 m and often climbing on other vegetation. The leaves are arranged oppositely, ovate to cordate, to 6 cm in length, with a sinuate leaf margin and an acute/acuminate/obtuse leaf apex.

The incomplete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in umbels. The calyx has 5, fused into a cup, sepals that are white. There are no petals. There are 2-3 stamens.  The ovary is superior with 1 locules and ovule.  The fruit is a 5 ribbed achene that is retained within the glandular calyx at maturity (anthocarp).

HabitatBoerhavia scandens grows in sandy Human Altered environments (yards, abandoned fields, roadsides) and the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forests/Shrublands.

DistributionBoerhavia scandens occurs throughout the entire Lucayan Archipelago, the Caribbean region, Central and northern South America and parts of the southern United States.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usageBoerhavia scandens is used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago to treat colds and flu and other respiratory problems.