Vernonia arborea Buch.-Ham. - COMPOSITAE

Synonym : Vernonia javanica DC
Vernonia wallichii Ridley

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Evergreen trees, bark smooth. Flowers with many florets in a capitulum purplish-white. Seeds an achene with a tuft of hairs (pappus).
Habit : Evergreen tree up to 15 m tall.
Trunk & bark : Bole straight, sometimes twisted, bark brown, smooth.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete, glabrous.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves simple, alternate and spiral, elliptic, apex acute to obtuse, base acute, margin entire.
Midrib flat above, secondary veins obtuse, widely parallel, tertiary veins oblique.
Stipules absent.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers violet, arranged in a many-flowered panicles cymes, terminal, bisexual, pedicels up to 3 mm long.
Fruits : Fruit achene, up to 0,3 cm long, with hairs on top (pappus).
Seeds : Seed 1.

Habitat and ecology :

Common especially in forest gaps and along roads up to 800 m altitude.

Distribution :

India, China (South), Malesia, Thailand, Indochina, Laos (Khammouan).

Remark/notes/uses :
Decoction of leaves and roots promote wound healing processes and to treat fevers and colics. The plant contains vernonin which is similar to digitalin but less toxic.

Specimens studied :
BT 710, LAO 418 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Gardner S., Sidisunthorn P. & Anusarnsunthorn V. 2000. A field guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand. Kobfai Publishing Project. Bangkok. Thailand.

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