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Dichrocephala integrifolia (L.f.) O. Kuntze

Dichrocephala integrifolia (L.f.) O. Kuntze

Family

Compositae

Synonyms

Dichrocephala latifolia (Lamk) DC., Dichrocephala bicolor (Roth) SchltdI.

Vernacular Names

Indonesia

Jukut meurit (Sundanese), wedahan, seprah (Javanese).

Cambodia

Klet choum thorn, kombet choun.

Laos

Cho ke (Meos, Xieng­khouang).

Thailand

Phakchee doi (Chiang Mai), saap haeng, haeng khong (Phetchabun).

Vietnam         

Rau chu[oo]i, l[uw][owx]ng s[ows]c l[as] nguy[ee]n.

Papua New Guinea

Taka (Wapanamanda, Enga), de­kemp (Mt. Hagen, Western Highlands),

dakuma­dan (Duman, Simbu).

Geographical Distributions

Dichrocephala inte­grifolia occurs in tropical and subtropical Africa, India, Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, and throughout Malaysia, Indonesia (Kalimantan ex­cluded) and the Philippines to Australia  and the Pacific. It is naturalised in Italy  and Turkey.

Description

Dichrocephala integrifolia is an annual, erect or spreading, hairy and aromatic herb that can grow up to 20-60(-100) cm tall. It often branches at the base and roots at the nodes.

The leaves are arranged alternate, ovate to lance-shaped, measure 4-8(-13) cm x 2-3(-5) cm, very variable, simple or pinnatifid, with large terminal lobe, broadly ovate, and coarsely toothed. The first leaves are arranged alter­nate, petiolate, (broadly) ovate, obtuse at base, with entire margin or with a few teeth, apiculate at apex and hairless. The lateral lobes are in 1 or 2 pairs, obovate or oblong and dentate. The petiole is narrowly winged and 0-6 cm long.

The inflorescence is a small head in a lax axillary or terminal panicle. The pe­duncle is up to 2.5 cm long, with 2-seriate involucral bracts, lance-shaped, 5 mm long, with rounded head and 3-5 mm across. The flowers are all tubular but different in size, and marginal female flowers are numerous and slender. The petal is 0.5 mm long, with obscurely 5-dentate apex and from greyish-white to purplish. The bisexual disk flowers are with short-tubular petals of 1 mm long, with 3-4 lobes and greenish to yellowish-white. The marginal and disk flowers are differently coloured in one head. There are 4 stamens which are loosely coherent. The ovary is inferior with 1-2 awns. The style is elongated and with a flattened stigma.

The fruit is a small sub-cylindrical achene, 1 mm long, 2-ribbed at the edges and smooth. The pappus is absent or with 1-2 persistent awns.

The seedling is epigeal germination. The hypocotyls are short while the cotyledons are broadly ovate to broadly elliptical, measure 2 mm x 2.5 mm, petiolate, obtuse at base, apiculate at apex and hairless. The epicotyl is virtually absent.

Ecology / Cultivation

Dichrocephala integrifolia is a common weed of fal­lowed rice fields and moist waste places. It is also found on old clearings, along trails, drainage ditches and roads, especially on clay soils. In Java, it occurs abundantly on humid, mostly hard or stony soils. In Africa, it is found in grass­lands and semi-shaded areas, and in Kenya, it is grazed by cattle. Dichrocephala integrifolia grows mainly be­tween 500-3000 m altitude in the tropics. The flowering time is between April and November in regions with a cool and/or dry season, otherwise, it flowers throughout the year. The fruit of Dichrocephala inte­grifolia is hydrochorous.

Line Drawing / Photograph

BOT00327

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and Poisonous Plants 2.

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