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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Other common names are "False Daisy" and "Tattoo Plant." The latter name refers to the fact that the juice of Yerba de Tajo can be used to make blue tattoos. This plant is used in Chinese medicine and has been found to function as an antidote to the venom of Rattlesnakes. Apparently, when an aqueous solution of the plant juice is injected into the affected muscle tissue, this reduces the hemorrhaging caused by the venom. Yerba de Tajo resembles one of the white-flowered Aster spp. (Asters), but its flowerheads have much shorter ray florets and there is no tuft of hairs attached to each achene. The flowerheads of Galinsoga spp. (Peruvian Daisies) have short ray florets, but they are widely spaced and much fewer in number than the ray florets of Yerba de Tajo.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This native plant is an annual in Illinois, while in areas with warmer climates it may be a short-lived perennial. It is about 1-2' long and has a tendency to sprawl along the ground in the absence of supportive vegetation. The reddish purple stems branch occasionally. They are round and have scattered white hairs that are appressed upward. The leaves are up to 5" long and 1" across. They are usually opposite, although some of the upper leaves may be alternate. The leaves are sessile against the stems, or they have short pedicels. Each leaf is more or less lanceolate, with scattered hairs that are appressed against the upper surface and a few blunt teeth along the margins. From the axils of the leaves, there are 1-3 flowerheads on short pedicels. Each flat-topped flowerhead is about 1/3" across, consisting of about 8-16 bracts and numerous ray florets that surround the numerous disk florets. The spreading green bracts are triangular-shaped and form the base of the flowerhead. The ray florets are white and quite narrow and short, while the disk florets are cream or dull white with 4 small spreading lobes. Pale yellow or light brown anthers protrude slightly from the disk florets.  The blooming period occurs from mid-summer until the fall, and lasts about 2-3 months. The flowerheads are not noticeably fragrant. As the achenes develop in a flowerhead after the petals fall off, they are initially green and cause the flowerhead to swell in size to about ½" across. Each achene is oblong, truncate at the top, and tapering to well-rounded tip at the bottom. Sometimes an achene may have 2 or 4 small teeth at the top. This plant can spread by forming rootlets at the nodes of the leaves in muddy ground. It also reseeds itself, and can form colonies at favorable sites.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Plains, Moist Localities, Naturalized, Native of Tropical America"
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Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Plains, Moist Localities, Naturalized, Native of Tropical America"
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Brief

Flowering class: Dicot Habit: Herb
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Description

Annual herb, usually with prostrate or decumbent stems, rooting at the nodes, sometimes suberect. Leaves subsessile, elliptic-lanceolate, up to 12 × 2.5 cm; margins toothed. Capitula solitary in the upper leaf axils, 6-10 mm in diameter. Ray-florets, 1-2 seriate, short, numerous, white.
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Derivation of specific name

prostrata: lying flat on the ground; prostrate
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Yerba de Tajo is a common plant in southern and central Illinois, but uncommon or absent in northern Illinois, where it may be adventive (see Distribution Map). This plant has a world-wide distribution and can be found in many Pacific Islands. It is a common weed in the American tropics, but in some of the northern states in the U.S., such as Wisconsin and New York, it is considered an endangered or threatened native plant. In Illinois, habitats include poorly drained areas of moist black soil prairies, muddy borders of ponds and rivers, ditches, poorly drained areas in fields, gardens and edges of yards. This plant is most often found in disturbed wetland habitats, but it occasionally occurs in areas that are drier and more developed.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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"Karnataka: Chikmagalur, Coorg, Dharwar, Hassan, N. Kanara, Shimoga, S. Kanara"
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"
Global Distribution

Pantropical

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: All Districts

"
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"Found in moist grounds, paddy fields, drainages and watercourses from plains to 750m. Common. Pantropic."
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Maharashtra: Common throughout Kerala: All districts Tamil Nadu: All districts
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Distribution in Egypt

Nile region, oases and Mediterranean region.

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Global Distribution

Native to tropical and warm temperate America, naturalized in the Old World.

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Worldwide distribution

Pantropical, possibly originally from Asia.
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A pantropic weed.
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Physical Description

Morphology

"
Flower

In axillary or terminal 1-3 capitula; white. Flowering from December-May.

Fruit

An oblong achene, 3-quetrous, hairy above. Fruiting January onwards.

Field tips

Stem strigosely hirsute, rooting at nodes.

Leaf Arrangement

Opposite

Leaf Type

Simple

Leaf Shape

Lanceolate

Leaf Apex

Acute

Leaf Base

Cuneate

Leaf Margin

Serrate-dentate

"
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Description

Leaf blades 2–10 cm × 4–30+ mm. Ray laminae ca. 2 mm. Disc corollas ca. 1.5 mm. Cypselae ca. 2.5 mm. 2n = 22 (as E. alba).
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Elevation Range

200-1200 m
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Habit: An annual herb, upto 30cm."
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Diagnostic

"Herbs, caespitose, up to 25 cm high; stems terete, appressed strigose. Leaves simple, opposite, 1-3 x 0.2-0.5 cm, oblong, oblong-lanceolate or oblong-elliptic, acute or subacuminate at apex, cuneate at base, entire, densely strigose, sessile or subsessile. Heads 4-5 mm across; peduncles appressed strigose, 2-4 mm long. Involucral bracts in 2 rows; outer bracts 5, ovate-elliptic, ca 3.5 x 2.5 mm, subacuminate at apex, cuneate at base, strigose outside, glabrous inside, with 9 veins; inner bracts 5, elliptic-obovate, ca 3 x 1.5 mm, subacuminate at apex, cuneate at base, sparsely strigose outside, glabrous inside, with 4 veins. Ray florets 2-3- seriate, female, ca 4 mm long. Sepals minute, ovate, acute, membranous. Corolla ca 2.5 mm long; tube ca 0.8 mm long; limb ca 1.6 mm long, with 2 unequal, obtuse-tipped lobes at apex. Disk florets numerous, ca 3 mm long. Corolla campanulate, ca 1.6 mm long; lobes 4, ovate, ciliate on margin. Stamens 4 or 5, sagittate. Style branches 2, pubescent. Ovary 1.1-1.2 mm long, hairy at apex. Palea ca 2.2 mm long, hairy in the upper two-third portion. Achenes yellowish brown to brown, oblong-turbinate, dorsiventrally compressed and sharply angled, hairy at apex; pappus of partially or completely united scales forming a cone at the apex."
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Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Synonym

Verbesina prostrata Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 902. 1753; Eclipta alba (Linnaeus) Hasskarl
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Type Information

Type for Wiborgia oblongifolia Hook.
Catalog Number: US 1803415
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): A. Cruickshanks
Locality: Lurin, near Lima., Lima, Peru, South America
  • Type: Hooker, W. J. 1831. Bot. Misc. 2: 226.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Yerba de Tajo is a common plant in southern and central Illinois, but uncommon or absent in northern Illinois, where it may be adventive (see Distribution Map). This plant has a world-wide distribution and can be found in many Pacific Islands. It is a common weed in the American tropics, but in some of the northern states in the U.S., such as Wisconsin and New York, it is considered an endangered or threatened native plant. In Illinois, habitats include poorly drained areas of moist black soil prairies, muddy borders of ponds and rivers, ditches, poorly drained areas in fields, gardens and edges of yards. This plant is most often found in disturbed wetland habitats, but it occasionally occurs in areas that are drier and more developed.
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General Habitat

Paddy fields and moist localities
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Canal banks, edges of springs, wells and swamps.

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Depth range based on 8 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 1
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Associations

Faunal Associations

Very little information appears to be available about floral-faunal relations for this plant. The flowerheads probably attract many of the same kinds of insects as Asters, including small bees, flies, wasps, small butterflies, and skippers, although such visitors appear to be less common for Yerba de Tajo as its flowers are less showy and more hidden in the foliage. This foliage is not considered toxic to deer and other mammalian herbivores, assuming that it isn't eaten in enormous quantities.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: Throughout the year
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Life Expectancy

Annual.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Eclipta prostrata

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eclipta prostrata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 14
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eclipta alba

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

Full or partial sun, wet to mesic conditions, and a loamy or mucky soil are preferred. Normally, this plant grows in rather wet habitats, but it can also adapt to drier locations. Reniform nematodes occasionally attack the roots. Like the tobacco plant, the foliage contains nicotine, which is an insecticide.
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Folklore

Indigenous Information: The young leaves are crushed and applied on cuts and wounds for quick healing.
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Uses

The young leaves are used as a medicine for scorpion sting. The leaves are cooked and eaten as greens. The plant is believed to have anti aging properties.
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Uses

Medicinal
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Wikipedia

Eclipta prostrata

Eclipta prostrata (syn. Eclipta alba) commonly known as false daisy, yerba de tago, and bhringraj, is a species of plant in the family Asteraceae.

Other common names include kehraj in Assamese and karisalaankanni (கரிசலாங்கண்ணி) in Tamil and kayyunni in Malayalam and 'माका' in Marathi.

This plant has cylindrical, grayish roots. The solitary flower heads are 6–8 mm in diameter, with white florets. The achenes are compressed and narrowly winged.

This species grows commonly in moist places as a weed in warm temperate to tropical areas worldwide. It is widely distributed throughout India, China, Thailand, and Brazil.

Traditional uses[edit]

The plant has traditional uses in Ayurveda. It is bitter, hot, sharp, dry in taste. In India it is known as bhangra (بھنگرہ), bhringaraj, and bhringraja. Widelia calendulacea is known by the same names, so the white-flowered E. alba is called white bhangra and the yellow-flowered W. calendulacea is called yellow bhangra.[2]

It is reported to improve hair growth and color.[3][4] A study in rats showed that petroleum ether extracts of E. prostrata decreased the amount of time it took for hair to begin regrowing and to fully regrow in shaved albino rats. The result of treatment with E. prostrata was better than the positive control, 2% minoxidil.[5]

Chemistry[edit]

Eclipta prostrata contains coumestans such as wedelolactone and demethylwedelolactone, polypeptides, polyacetylenes, thiophene derivatives, steroids, triterpenes and flavonoids.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.". The Plant List version 1.1. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Puri, H. S. 2003. Rasayana: Ayurvedic Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation. Taylor & Francis, London. pages 80–85.
  3. ^ Kritikar, KR., Basu, BD. 1975. Chronica Botanica Indian Medicinal plants. New Delhi
  4. ^ Chopra, RN., Nayar, SL., Chopra, IC.,1955. Glossary of Indian Medicinal plants. C.S.I.R., New Delhi
  5. ^ Roy, R. K.; Thakur, M.; Dixit, V. K. (2008). "Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats". Archives of Dermatological Research 300 (7): 357–364. doi:10.1007/s00403-008-0860-3. PMID 18478241.  edit

Further reading[edit]

  • Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L.; Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press.  ISBN 0-89672-614-2
  • Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 0-7234-3410-7. 
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