Vernonia cinerea (L.) Less., Linnaea 4: 291 (1829)

(Latin for 'ash-grey')

Blumea chinensis (L.) DC.
Cacalia cinerea (L.) Kuntze
Centratherum chinense (L.) Less.
Conyza chinensis L.
Conyza cinerea L.
Conyza ivifolia Burm.f.
Cyanopis erigeroides DC.
Cyanthillium chinense (L.) Gleason
Cyanthillium cinereum (L.) H.Rob.
Cyanthillium cinereum var. ovatum Isawumi
Eupatorium myosotifolium Jacq.
Seneciodes cinereum (L.) Kuntze
Serratula cinerea (L.) Roxb.
Vernonia abbreviata DC.
Vernonia apocynifolia Baker
Vernonia betonicifolia Baker
Vernonia cinerea var. erigeroides (DC.) Domin
Vernonia cinerea var. lentii (Volkens & O.Hoffm.) C.Jeffrey
Vernonia cinerea var. montana C.B.Clarke
Vernonia cinerea var. parviflora (Reinw. ex Blume) DC.
Vernonia cinerea subsp. vialis (DC.) Humbert
Vernonia cinerea var. vialis (DC.) R.Vig. & Humbert
Vernonia cyanonioides
Vernonia dendigulensis DC.
Vernonia diffusa Decne.
Vernonia erigeroides (DC.) DC.
Vernonia exilis Miq.
Vernonia fasciculata Blume
Vernonia kroneana Miq.
Vernonia lentii Volkens & O.Hoffm.
Vernonia leptophylla DC.
Vernonia parviflora Reinw. ex Blume
Vernonia physalifolia DC.
Vernonia rhomboidea Edgew.
Vernonia vialis DC.
Vernonia villosa W.Wight

Herbs, annual or perennial, to 100 cm tall. Root vertical, woody, branched, with fibrous roots. Stems erect, usually branched above, or rarely from base, striate, gray adpressed puberulent with T-shaped hairs, glandular. Lower and middle leaves: petiole 1020 mm, leaf blade rhombic-ovate, rhombic-oblong, or ovate, 36.5 1.53 cm, abaxially gray-white or yellowish puberulent, especially along veins, both surfaces glandular, adaxially green, sparsely puberulent, lateral veins 3- or 4-paired, base cuneately attenuate into winged petiole, margin remotely mucronate-serrate, or repand, apex acute or slightly obtuse; upper leaves progressively smaller, shortly petiolate or subsessile, narrowly oblong-lanceolate or linear. Synflorescences terminal, flat-topped, panicles branching often rather divaricate. Capitula many, rarely few, 68 mm in diam.; peduncles 515 mm; bracteoles linear, sometimes absent, densely puberulent. Involucre campanulate, 45 68 mm; phyllaries 4-seriate, green or sometimes becoming purple, outer linear, 1.52 mm, puberulent and glandular, apex acuminate, median linear, inner linear-lanceolate, spinescent, 1-veined or sometimes conspicuously 3-veined in upper part. Receptacle flat, foveolate. Florets 1928; corolla reddish purple, tubular, 56 mm, sparsely puberulent, glandular; lobes linear-lanceolate, puberulent and glandular at apex. Achenes cylindrical, ca. 2 mm, densely puberulent and glandular. Pappus 2-seriate, white; outer setae many, short; inner setae 45 mm, scabrid. Fl. year-round. 2n = 18. [data from Flora of China]

Growing on open waste places throughout settled areas at low and medium altitudes; common weed, flowering all year.

India, China and Japan to New Guinea and Australia; Eastern and southern Africa.

The seeds yield a fatty oil and are used as an anthelmintic and alexipharmic; they are said to be quite effective against roundworms and threadworms. They are also given for coughs, flatulence, intestinal colic and dysuria and for leucoderma, psoriasis and other chronic skin-diseases. The seeds are made into a paste with lime juice and used for destroying pediculi.

Local names
China: Ye Xiang Niu (China). English: Ash-coloured fleabane, Iron weed, Purple fleabane.
India: Sahadevi (Sanskrit).
Others: Agas moro, Bulabod, Kolong kugon, Magmansi, Sagit, Tagulinai, Tagulinau.