Wing-Stem Camphor-Weed
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Wing-Stem Camphor-Weed
P Naturalized Photo: Nidhan SIngh
Common name: Wing-Stem Camphor-Weed
Botanical name: Pluchea sagittalis    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Conyza sagittalis, Conyza brasiliensis, Pluchea suaveolens

Wing-Stem Camphor-Weed is an erect, aromatic, coarse, perennial herb, 1-1.5 m tall, 1.5 cm in diameter at base, much branched, branches densely woolly, stems prominently winged by decurrent leaves. Median leaves are lanceshaped to broadly lanceshaped, 6-12 cm long, 2.5-4 cm wide, thinly woolly with sticky glands on both surfaces, tip tapering, margins sawtoothed, base narrowed, stalkless. Flower-heads are 7-8 mm (when fresh) to about 1 cm (dried specimen) in diameter, 4-5 mm long, flower-cluster-stalks 5-25 mm long, in compound at branch-ends and in leaf-axils corymbs. Involucres are hemispheric, bracts greenish-brownish, 4-5-seriate, the outer very widely elliptic to very widely obovate, tapering at tip, 1-2 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, woolly below, fringed with hairs at margins, the inner lanceshaped to linear-lanceshaped, 3-4 mm long, 0.4-0.6 mm wide. Receptacles flat, hairless. Outer florets numerous, flower white, 3-3.5 mm long, tip 3-lobed; pappus white, slightly longer than flower; achenes brown, cylindric with 5 pale ribs, 0.6-0.8 mm long, 0.2 mm wide, with sticky glands. Central florets about 50-60, flower white, purplish toward summit, 2.5-3 mm long.
Medicinal uses: Wing-Stem Camphor-Weed is commonly used for stomachic and digestive problems, and its extract is part of a digestive and appetizer liqueur.

Identification credit: Nidhan SIngh Photographed in Kaithal district, Haryana.

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