Little Ironweed
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Little Ironweed
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Little ironweed, Purple feabane • Hindi: Sahadevi सहदेवी • Kannada: ಸಹದೇವಿ Sahadevi, ದಂಡೋತ್ಪಲ Dandotpala, ಗಾಯದೊಪ್ಪಲು Gaayadoppalu • Manipuri: ꯈꯣꯡꯖꯥꯢ ꯅꯄꯤ Khongjai napi • Marathi: Sadodi • Tamil: பூவங்குருந்தல் Puvamkuruntal • Telugu: Sahadevi • Bengali: Kuksim • Nepali: मरचाझार Marchaa Jhaar
Botanical name: Cyanthillium cinereum      Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Vernonia cinerea, Conyza cinerea, Senecioides cinerea

Little ironweed is an annual or short-lived perennial to 50 cm with ovate leaves. The stems branch repeatedly at the top to hold aloft the small cylindrical, purple flower heads. Leaves are 2-3.5 x 1.2-2.5 cm, including leaf-stalks. Flower-cluster-stalks are 0.3-1 cm. Bracts are linear at proximal nodes, wanting distally. Phyllaries are 3-4 mm. Fruit is 1.5-2 mm; pappus white. Flowers throughout the year. Originally from Tropical Asia & Africa, now a pantropical weed. Found in upland crop areas, waste places and roadsides throughout India, including the Himalaya.
Medicinal uses: 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.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé Photographed in Lodhi Garden, Delhi & Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

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