Western Ghats Vernonia
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Western Ghats Vernonia
A Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Western Ghats Vernonia
Botanical name: Cyanthillium albicans    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Vernonia albicans, Conyza albicans

Western Ghats Vernonia is an erect annual herb with striped branches, growing primarily on bare slopes and in forest undergrowth. Leaves are alternate, ovate-lanshaped, velvet-hairy above, woolly below. Each plant produces 35-40 panicled heads consisting of pendulous stalked flat-topped flower-heads in leaf axils, as well as at branch-ends. A capitulum is about 12 mm long, about 7 mm wide, woolly outside and consists of about 30 disc florets, while ray florets are absent. The florets open acropetally within two days - 76 % open on the first and 24 % on the second day. The capitulum is protected by 5-6 mm long, 4 mm wide green involucres. The disc florets are small, 8.1mm long, 2 mm wide, pink or purplish, odourless, bisexual. Western Ghats Vernonia is found in Peninsular India, Malaysia, China and Sri Lanka. Flowering: July-October.
Medicinal uses: Western Ghats Vernonia is used for treatment of filariasis and eye infections by tribal people.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Bellary, Karnataka.

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