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Scale bar 10mm. Copyright CSIRO
Copyright Barry Jago
Habit, leaves and flowers. Copyright CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. Copyright CSIRO
10th leaf stage. Copyright CSIRO
Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.
Linnaeus, C. von (1771) Mantissa Plantarum Altera: 286. Type: ?.
Eclipta prostrata L., Mantissa Plantarum Altera: 286(1771), Type: China?.
Daisy, False; False Daisy; White Twin-heads
Usually a herb but sometimes flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1 m tall.
Flowers borne in heads about 7 mm diam. on a peduncle about 1.5-4 cm long. Heads subtended by a ring of 8-10 green bracts. Ray florets ligulate and female, about 3 mm long. Disk florets tubular, bisexual, about 2.5 mm long. Stamens connate. Style bifid at the apex.
Cotyledons about 3-6 x 2-4 mm, petiole about 1 mm long. First pair of leaves opposite, margins with 1 or 2 teeth on each side close to the apex. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade about 8-12.5 x 2.5 cm, bases very attenuate. All parts of the seedling clothed in white, prostrate, stiff hairs. Lateral veins about 7 or 8 pairs forming loops close to the leaf blade margin.
Distribution and Ecology
A species with a pantropic distribution. Occurs in CYP, NEQ and southwards to south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in northern Queensland from near sea level to 550 m. Usually grows as a weed of agricultural land and waste places but occasionally found in disturbed areas in rain forest.
This species has some minor medicinal uses for the treatment of people. (http://www.elixirfarm.com/images/Chinese/eclipta. htm)
In India it has been used to treat wounds in cattle. (http://www.mssrf.org/Fris9809/Fris1131.html)
In India and South-East Asia, the leaves, either boiled or pounded, have been mixed with coconut oil to promote luxuriant growth of hair, as well as to dye grey hair black.
The plant contains a small amount of nicotine which possibly has a slight narcotic effect. Cribb (1981).
Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)