Common name: Flat-top mille graines, Diamond flower, Old world diamond-flower, Wild chayroot, Parpadakam, Parppadakapullu
Flat-top mille graines is a small, creeping herb seen very commonly in the wild, with tiny white flowers having diamond-shaped petals. The plant typically grows 10-15 cm tall and has small, ovate leaves that are arranged oppositely on the stem. The stems are 4-angled, slender, and green.
Leaves are dark green and glossy, about 1-2 cm long with prominent, sunken mid-ribs. Flat-top mille graines plant produces small, white, or light pink tubular flowers that are arranged in clusters at the tip of the stem.
These flowers are very small, only about .5mm long with 4 distinct petals. After pollination, the plant produces round berries that look like small, green goblets. They later turn brown before bursting open to release numerous tiny, black seeds.
The plant is easy to grow and can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. It prefers well-drained soil and a sunny location, but can tolerate partial shade. Flat-top mille graines are drought-tolerant and can be grown in a variety of soils, including sandy or clay soils. It prefers a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5.
They are low-maintenance, annual plants that grow and spread quickly in the wild, new plants growing from the seeds of older plants. Though they are native to Asia and Africa, these plants are now found all over the world, including the Himalayas.
Flat-top mille graines is a popular medicinal plant in traditional medicine, and is used to treat a wide range of ailments like malaria, fever, eczema, psoriasis, and diarrhea.
They have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-microbial, and wound-healing properties. This versatile, little plant is also used as a diuretic, and is believed to be useful in treating urinary tract infections.
Propagation is through seeds or stem cuttings.