Achyranthes japonica

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Achyranthes
Species: A. japonica
Scientific Name
Achyranthes japonica
(Miq.) Nakai
Common Names

Japanese chaff flower

Overview

Appearance
Achyranthes japonica is a perennial herb that can grow up to about 6.5 ft. (2 m) tall. Stems are glabrous or slightly pubescent.
Foliage
Ovate-elliptic leaves are opposite and simple. Margins are entire and repand (slightly wavy). The base of the leaf is tapering and the apex is acute to acuminate.
Flowers
The small flowers have no petals and are clustered tightly on the inflorescence which occur at the ends of the stems and upper branches. They flower in summer.
Fruit
The fruits are elliptic utricles that are held tightly along the stem. Fruits contain a single seed and each plant produces many seeds. Each fruit has a pair of stiff bracts that can attach to fur or clothing, allowing the seed to be easily spread.
Ecological Threat
Although Achyranthes japonica prefers partial sun and moist soils it can survive in shade and dry conditions. It readily invades bottomland forests, wooded riverbanks, roadsides, ditches and field edges. Achyranthes japonica can form dense monocultures shading and outcompeting native plant species.

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