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Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC.

Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC.




Cacalia sonchifolia L., Se­necio sonchifolius (L.) Moench, Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC. var. javanica (Burm.) Matt­feld.

Vernacular Names


Ketumbit jantan, setum­bak merah.


Emilia, Cupid's shaving brush, sow thistle.


Patah kemudi, kemendilan (Javanese), jonge (Sundanese).


Tagulinau (Tagalog), lam­lampaka (Ilocano), pisowa-pisowa (Bisaya).


Smau reang tuk.


Hangplachon (Central), phakdaeng (Central), phakbang (Northern).


Rau m[as] ti[as], rau chua l[ef], h[oof]ng b[oos]i th[ar]o.



Geographical Distributions

Emilia son­chifolia is a common weed with pantropical distri­bution. Its origin is unknown, but the genus Emil­ia Cassini is chiefly African. E. sonchifolia occurs wild throughout the Old World, including Southeast Asia. In America, it has been introduced and become naturalised.


Emilia sonchifolia is an annual herb, which is erect or prostrate at base and can grow up to 10-150 cm tall. It often branches from the very base, usually purplish-green and deep rooting. The stem is slen­der, striate, measures 2-3 mm in diametre, smooth or near­ly so, solid and not laticiferous.

The leaves measure 4-16 cm x 1-8 cm, with alternate arrangement, sessile, dark green above and lighter green or tinged with purple beneath. They are hairless or nearly so, and more or less irregularly coarsely den­tate. The lower leaves are more or less deeply pinnatifid or lyrate, with an orbicular-ovate or subtriangular terminal lobe, where the lower part is often narrowly alate, while in juvenile plants, they are often with patent white hairs. The up­per leaves are linear or arrowhead-shaped and semi-amplexicaul.

The inflorescence is a terminal head and few together in slender corymbs or rarely solitary. The head is 20-45-­flowered, subcylindrical and measuring 8-17 mm x 4-5 mm. The peduncle is 1-5 cm long and slender. There are 7-10 involucral bracts which are narrowly oblong-ovoid, usually slightly shorter than the flowers, at first erect and coher­ing up to the tips, but becoming free later and reflexed. Besides, they are green with narrow transparent margins. The cupular hypanthi­urn is at anthesis and it gradually turns convex. The ray flowers are absent. The disk flowers are bisexual. The petal is 8-12 mm long, tubular, 5-lobed, light red and rarely green or white. The ovary is short-hairy with 2 style arms. The stamens are connate. The anthers are 2-2.5 mm long with a small apical valve.

The fruit is one-seeded, linear­oblongoid, measures 2.5-3 mm long, ribbed, soft hairy and brownish. The numerous pappus hairs are 6-9 mm long and white.

Ecology / Cultivation

Emilia sonchifolia occurs frequently as a weed in compounds, roadsides, grassy fields, on dikelets along rice fields, in cropped fields, tea, rub­ber and other plantations, teak forests, and on beaches. It prefers sunny or slightly shaded, and not-too-dry localities from sea level up to 3000 m altitude. It is locally abundant, but always occurs scattered.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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