Ceylon Globe Thistle
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Ceylon Globe Thistle
A Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Ceylon Globe Thistle • Tamil: அமுதகரண்டை Amutakarantai, Chekilachitachcheti, Chekilachitam
Botanical name: Sphaeranthus amaranthoides    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Sphaeranthus zeylanicus, Oligolepis amaranthoides

Ceylon Globe Thistle is a small prostrate herb found in semi-aquatic environment. Stem is round, branchlets very narrowly winged. Leaves to 9 x 1.5 cm, oblong, spoon-shaped, tip pointed, black dotted, distantly sawtoothed. Flower-heads are clustered, ovoid; bracts overlapping, 5 mm long, protruding, ovate, tapering, spinous; phyllaries 3, membranous; inner bisexual floret 5-toothed, 2 mm long, outer female florets 2 mm long, 2-4 lobed. Achenes of inner floret are hairless, of outer hairy. Ceylon Globe Thistle is native to SW India and Sri Lanka.
Medicinal uses: The plant is used in the treatment of eczema, blood disorders, stomach worms, filarial and fever. It also removes kapha, vata and piles. It is used to cure skin diseases. The flowers of the plant have depurative, cooling and tonic effect. Seeds and root are used as stomachic and anti-helminthic. Leaf powder is useful in the treatment of chronic skin diseases, urethral discharges, and jaundice.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Radhapuram, Tirunelveli Dist, Tamil Nadu.

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