Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Tridax procumbens (L.) L.

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Asterales
Family:Asteraceae
Genus:Tridax
Species:T. procumbens
Common Names:Coat Buttons
Status:Exotic. Naturalised. Cultivated.

Description

This is a perennial herb with a creeping stem that can reach 75 cm long. Leaves are simple, 0.5-5 cm long, ovate-elliptical and corsely serrate or lobed. Flowers are yellow, in heads that are about 2 cm wide, each on a 10-30 cm long stalk. Fruits are small, each with a head of long feathery pappus bristles.

Read more about the Asterales order.
Read more about the Asteraceae family.

Distribution

Native to Central America, it has now been naturalised in many tropical countries.

Human Uses

The leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Medicinally, they are used to treat bronchial catarrh, dysentery and diarrhoea.

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Faridah Hanum, I & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) 1995. Plant resources of South-East Asia - No. 11: Auxiliary plants. Backhuys, Leiden.

Henderson, M.R. 1954. Malayan wild flowers - Monocotyledons. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 357 pp.

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