Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Blumea sylvatica (Blume) DC.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © S.G. McKenna
Flowers. © S.G. McKenna
Flowers. © S.G. McKenna
Habit, leaves and flowers. © S.G. McKenna
Leaves. © S.G. McKenna
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Candolle, A.P. de (1836) Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 5: 447.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-1.5 m tall.


Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margins. Both the upper and lower surface of the leaf blades clothed in pale, rather sparse +/- prostrate hairs. Leaf blade margin with about 6-10 teeth on each side. Leaf blades about 10-17 x 2-5 cm.


Inflorescence a panicle of heads. Heads consist mainly of female flowers with just a few hermaphrodite flowers in the centre. Individual flowers about 1 mm diam. Each flower surrounded by a ring of about 16-18 barbed hairs about 6 mm long. Perianth about 7 mm long. Staminal filaments about 3 mm long and free, anthers about 2 mm long, fused to form a tube around the style. Style about 9 mm long. Ovary hairy, stigma bilobed.


Achenes about 1-2 mm long, clothed in tiny bristles, pappus about 5 mm long, each bristle armed with microscopic barbs or teeth. Cotyledons about the same size as the radicle.


Cotyledons about 1.5-3 x 1.5-3 mm. First pair of leaves with 1 or 2 teeth on each side. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade margin serrate, both the upper and lower surfaces hairy and the lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Seed germination time 14 to 15 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 900 m. Grows along roads and in clearings in rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

In upper Naitasiri Province, Fiji, the name viavia tobacco has been noted, and an extract from the leaves is used for sore eyes (St John 19287). A.C. Smith (991).


Conyza sylvatica Blume, Bijdragen tot de flora van Nederlandsch Indie 15: 899 (1826), Type: "in montanis Megamendung." (Java, Indonesia).

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