Description from Flora of China
Herbs or shrubs. Stems not winged, with resin canals. Leaves alternate, simple, sessile or shortly petiolate, mucronate-toothed to laciniate or sometimes pinnately lobed. Capitula heterogamous, disciform, solitary or paniculate. Involucre campanulate-globose; phyllaries numerous, imbricate or reflexed, in 4 or 5 series, outer series shortest. Receptacle epaleate, with scalelike ridges. Marginal florets female, in several rows; corolla yellow, filiform, minutely 2- or 3-toothed. Disk florets bisexual; corollas often yellow, rarely white to purplish, tubular, 5-toothed. Anthers ecalcarate, tailed; tails connate, caudate-acuminate; endothecial tissue radial or polarized. Pollen spines with a cavity. Style branches with acute sweeping hairs, not reaching furcation. Achenes cylindric, hirsute, terete or obscurely 4-angular or 5- or 10-ribbed, shorter than corolla; epidermis with elongated crystals. Pappus of barbellate, capillary bristles in 1 row, white to reddish. x = 8, 9, 10, 11.
Blumeopsis is treated here as a synonym of Blumea. It is a derived ingroup in this large genus and should be included therein; see Pornpongrungrueng et al. (Pl. Syst. Evol. 269: 223-243. 2007).
The name Blumea gomphrena (Walpers) Schultz-Bipontinus ex Handel-Mazzetti (Oesterr. Bot. Z. 88: 310. 1939), based on Vernonia gomphrena Walpers (Nov. Actorum Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 19(Suppl. 1): 253. 1843), is of uncertain application. The only known specimen associated with the name, the type, collected by Meyen from an island ("Lintin") near Guangzhou, was probably destroyed in the Berlin herbarium fire of 1943. The protologue describes a pubescent annual with amplexicaul leaves, cymes with few capitula, and lanceolate phyllaries, but it is completely lacking in useful information on floral morphology including microcharacters. A specimen at GH comprises a drawing of the type together with two fragments (leaves and immature capitula) of the type. Merrill (J. Arnold Arbor. 18: 75. 1937), who saw this material, treated V. gomphrena as a synonym of B. obliqua (Linnaeus) Druce, a species not otherwise recorded from China. Certainly the material resembles a Blumea, but examination of the microcharacters of the capitula are needed to confirm its identity. In particular, the shape of the style sweeping hairs, the endothecial tissue thickenings, the shape and size of the anther thecae (calcarate, tailed, etc.), and the pollen morphology could be informative.
About 50 species: Africa, tropical Asia, Australia, Pacific islands; 30 species (five endemic) in China.