Erechtites hieracifolia (L.) Rafin. ex DC

Erechtites hieracifolia (L.) Rafin. ex DC

Family

Compositae

Synonyms

Senecio hieraci­folius L.

Vernacular Names

English

Pilewort, Malayan ground­sel.

Indonesia

Sintrong (Sun­da), bolostrok (Sunda), jambrong (Sunda).

Philip­pines

Hagalpohansaw (Bisaya), doyan-doyan (Bukidnon), salimbego (Marinduque).

Thailand

Phakkat-nokkut (Central).

American

Fireweed.

Geographical Distributions

Erechtites hieracifolia is native to the more humid parts of North and South America. It is adventitious in Central Europe, Hawaii and Southeast Asia. It does not occur in Africa, the Near East, Aus­tralia or the Pacific islands.

Description

Erechtites hieracifolia is an annual herb that can grow up to 2 m tall.

The leaves are sessile, or if shortly petiolate, are then with conspicuously alate petiole, lance-shaped or oblong­lance-shaped and measuring 3-30 cm x 0.5-7 cm. The lower ones are narrow while the higher ones are broad, and truncate or auricled at the base. The higher ones are coarsely dentate-­pinnately lobed. The peduncle is up to 6 cm long.

The flower head measures 12-15 mm x 6-8 mm where the diametre is al­ways about half of its length. The involucre is 10-12 mm long. The flowers are light yellow. The marginal florets are bi-or pluriseriate.

The one-seeded fruit is about 2.5 mm long. It is brown, entirely white and with 8-12 mm long pappus.

Ecology / Cultivation

Erechtites hieracifolia thrives in sun­ny, rather moist localities, on roadsides, in recent clearings and on waste sites, often becoming com­mon but tolerable weeds in estate crop planta­tions. It is among the early colonisers in new­ly cleared areas, especially after burning (fire­weed). It occurs in the lowlands as well as in the mountains up to 2200 m altitude. Its presence and quantity are usually considered indication of very fertile topsoil.

Line Drawing / Photograph

BOT00386

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 8: Vegetables.