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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 20-21 | Asteraceae | Elephantopus

1. Elephantopus scaber Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 814. 1753.

地胆草 di dan cao

Asterocephalus cochinchinensis Sprengel; Scabiosa cochinchinensis Loureiro.

Herbs, perennial, 20-60 cm tall. Rhizomes procumbent or obliquely ascending, with many fibrous roots. Stems erect, ± dichotomously branched, slightly scabrid, densely white adpressed hirsute. Basal leaves persistent by anthesis, rosulate, spatulate or oblanceolate, 5-18 × 2-4 cm, abaxially densely hirsute and glandular, adaxially sparsely hirsute, base gradually attenuate into short, broad petiole, margin crenate-serrate, apex rounded or shortly acute; cauline leaves few and small, oblanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, progressively smaller toward apex. Synflorescence densely aggregated in compound heads, surrounded by leaflike bracts; bracts broadly ovate or oblong-ovate, 1-1.5 × 0.5-1 cm, hirsute and glandular, with conspicuously raised veins, apex acuminate. Capitula many. Involucre narrow, 8-10 × ca. 2 mm; phyllaries green or apically purple-red, oblong-lanceolate, hirtellous and glandular, 1- or 3-veined, apex acuminate and spinescent, outer 4-5 mm, inner ca. 10 mm. Florets 4, herbaceous, purplish or pink; corolla 7-9 mm, tube 4-5 mm. Achenes oblong-linear, ca. 4 mm, angled, puberulent. Pappus sordid white, of 5(or 6) basally widened bristles, 4-5 mm. Fl. Jul-Nov. 2n = 22*.

Often on open slopes, roadsides or forest margins in valleys; ca. 1400 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [widely distributed in tropical areas of Africa, America, and Asia].

Elephantopus scaber is used medicinally to promote diuresis and reduce edema, as well as to treat a variety of ailments, including common cold headaches, stomach disease, pharyngolaryngitis, tonsillitis, conjunctival hyperema, and furuncles.


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