29. Vernonia patula (Aiton) Merrill, Philipp. J. Sci. C, 3: 439. 1909.
咸虾花 xian xia hua
Conyza patula Aiton, Hortus Kew. 3: 184. 1789; Cacalia patula (Aiton) Kuntze; Cyanopis madagascariensis Candolle; Cyanthillium patulum (Aiton) H. Robinson; C. pubescens Blume; C. villosum Blume; Isonema ovata Cassini; Staehelina conyzoides Sprengel, nom. illeg. superfl.; Vernonia chinensis Lessing; V. kawakamii Hayata; V. pratensis Klatt.
Herbs, annual, 30-90 cm tall. Root vertical, with many fibrous rootlets. Stems erect, many branched, branches spreading, terete, conspicuously striate, gray puberulent and glandular. Lower leaves withered by anthesis; middle and upper leaves: petiole 1-2 cm, upper part winged; leaf blade ovate, ovate-elliptic, rarely orbicular, 2-9 × 1-5 cm, abaxially densely adpressed gray pubescent and glandular, adaxially green, sparsely puberulent or glabrous, lateral veins 4- or 5-paired, ascending, base broadly cuneate into petiole, margin crenate-mucronate toothed, repand, or subentire, apex obtuse or rather acute; upper leaves gradually smaller. Synflorescences terminal, panicles broad, often flat-topped. Capitula usually 2 or 3 clustered at tips of branches, 8-10 mm in diam.; peduncle 5-25 mm, densely sericeous-villous; bracteoles absent. Involucre compressed spheroidal, 6-7 × 8-10 mm, base rounded, ± concave; phyllaries 4- or 5-seriate, green or rather purple, with straw-colored margins, lanceolate, 3-4 mm, subleathery, sericeous-villous and glandular, apex subspinelike-acuminate, outermost spreading, median and inner narrowly oblong-lanceolate, ca. 6 mm, spiculate. Receptacle slightly convex, foveolate. Florets 75-100; corolla reddish purple, tubular, 4-5 mm; lobes linear-lanceolate, puberulent and glandular, apex acute. Achenes subcylindric, 1-1.5 mm, 4- or 5-angled, glabrous, glandular. Pappus 1-seriate, white; setae 2-3 mm, scabrid, easily deciduous. Fl. Jul-May.
Open places on slopes, fields, and roadsides. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Taiwan, Yunnan [India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam; Madagascar; introduced to the Caribbean].
Vernonia patula is a medicinal plant, and its many uses include reducing fevers and treating malaria, stomach and intestinal disorders, and common cold headaches.
"Vernonia patula Martius ex Candolle" (Prodr. 5: 55. 1836) appears to be an unpublished name for the Brazilian taxon V. tricholepis Candolle.