Spermacoce laevis

Spermacoce laevis (Lam.) Griseb.

Synonym: Borreria laevis

Common Names: Buttonweed

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Spermacoce laevis grows as an annual/perennial up to 25 cm in height.  The leaves are arranged oppositely with stipules with numerous setae between the petioles.  The leaves are lanceolate to ovate, up to 6 cm long (typically shorter), with an acute leaf apex and an entire margin.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic, perfect, complete, solitary flowers occur in the leaf axils and terminate branches. A stipular sheath subtends the flowering “head” with many setae. The calyx has 4 unfused, triangular sepals.  The corolla has 4 fused pubescent white petals that form a short, pubescent tube.  There are 4 stamens that are fused to the perianth forming a hypanthium. The ovary is inferior with 2 locules and few ovules.  The fruit is a capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Spermacoce laevis grows in Human Altered environments (roadsides, farms, yards).

Distribution: Spermacoce laevis occurs on all island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago, as well as the tropical and subtropical Americas.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Spermacoce laevis is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.