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Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.


Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.




Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Biu, keremak jantan, nigus.
English False daisy, ink plant.
Indonesia Orang-aring (Javanese), urang-aring (Sundanese), daun sipat (Moluccas).
Thailand Kameng (Central), yaa sap, hom kieo (Northern).
Philippines Higis-manok (Tagalog), karim-buaya (Ilokano), pia (Ifugao).
Laos Hoomz kèèwx.
Vietnam C[or] m[uwj]c, c[or] mh[oj] n[oot]i, h[aj]n ni[ee]n th[ar]o.
Papua New Guinea Whiteheads (Pidgin).
French Herbe à l’encre.

Geographical Distributions

Eclipta prostrata occurs worldwide in the tropics and subtropics.


E. prostrata is a straggling annual or rather short-lived perennial herb, measuring 50-80 cm tall. Its stem is cylindrical, erect or prostate, rooting at the lower nodes, reddish, with taproot.

The leaves are opposite, simple, oblong-lance-shaped and measure 2-7 cm x 1-2 cm. It tapers gradually to a narrow base with pointed apex and slightly toothed with (sub)sessile. There are no stipules.

The inflorescence is arising from the axils or terminal head, solitary or up to 3 together. The peduncle is measures 1-6 cm long, with long appressed white hairs and involucral bracts is 5-6. The female flowers are elongated flattened strap-shaped, numerous, 2-seriate and measuring up to 3 mm long. The apex is entire or white 2-lobed.  The white and 4-lobed at the apex of the tubular flowers are bisexual and numerous.

The fruit is an oblong achene, triangular or compressed with 1 central rib on each side, measures 3 mm x 1.5 mm, truncate at the tip and black. The pappus is absent or with 2 weak scales and a few short hairs. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The hypocotyl is measuring up to 8.5 mm long and reddish-green. The cotyledons are egg-shaped, measuring up to 4.5 mm long, base tapering, apex is rounded, epicotyl is short and densely hairy. The first leaves are opposite, egg-shaped, shallowly toothed margin and hairy.

Ecology / Cultivation

E. prostrata is an anthropogenic species, occurring frequently around houses, open spaces in villages, and disturbed soil. It is a very common weed in rice, sugar cane fields and coconut plantations. It is also found in humid locations along watercourses and roadsides, from lowland up to 2000 m altitude.

In Sri Lanka, E. prostrata flowers from November to July and in the Philippines all year round. Where rainfall is more than 1200 mm annually, it tends to become perennial. E. prostrata is a polymorphous and troublesome weed in many crops, most difficult in lowland areas with high rainfall. Early control is necessary and herbicide combinations appear to be more reliable than a single herbicide.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1)  Safety


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

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