Blumea axillaris  (Lam.) DC  1836

pronounced: BLUE-mee-uh AX-ill-AR-iss

(Asteraceae – the daisy family)

synonym: Blumea Mollis  (D.Don.) A.Merr 1910

pronounced: BLUE-mee-uh MOLL-iss

common name:  Pink Blumea

leaves
pink Blumea

Blumea is in honour of Carl Ludwig Blume (1796-1862), a German-Dutch botanist who made extensive studies of the flora of southern Asia; axillaris is from the Latin axilla, the armpit, used botanically for the junction of a leaf and a stem.

The Blumea genus is found distributed through tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent and south-east Asia, with a few species found in Australia. Mostly the plants are smallish weeds.

leaf detail

Pink Blumea is a common weed of both open and shaded spaces, along roadsides, in pasture, woodlands, gardens and wasteland, at altitudes from sea-level to about 1500 m. In Australia, it is found right across the top end, in the gulf country, and right down the Queensland coast. It is an annual herb, 20 - 100 cm high, and somewhat viscid, the whole plant sticky and aromatic (lemony); its stems are erect, simple or branched from the base, sometimes woody at the base, and glandular-hairy; it has a taproot.

flowers

The leaves, occasionally purplish, are ovate-oblong, 1 - 9.5 cm in length and 0.6 - 5 cm in width, sharply toothed; they are densely silky-hairy on both surfaces; the upper leaves are smaller, acute to apiculate, with the base acute, and they are sessile; the lower leaves are rounded or obtuse, with a tapering base, and they are petiolate.

The panicles are dense, spike-like, their heads hemispherical to campanulate, 3 - 4 mm in diameter; the peduncles are silky; the involucral bracts are 2 - 3-seriate, linear, acute to acuminate, purplish-tinged, and densely hairy. The florets are purple to lilac, although they tend to become whiter nearer to sea level.

fruits
fruit detail

The achenes are oblong, about 0.5 mm long, sparsely to densely hairy; the pappus white, and 2-4 mm long.

Many species of the genus are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Blumea balsamifera is used in Thailand to ward off evil spirits, and is used in Philippines herbal medicine as well.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Information about medicinal qualities of plants, or about their use as medicines, is for interest only, and is not intended to be used as a guide for the treatment of medical conditions.

Photographs taken in Picnic Bay 2011, 2017, by West Point road 2011

Page last updated 30th November 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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