Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Wollastonia biflora (L.) DC. var. biflora

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower head. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Candolle, A.P. de (1836) Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 5: 546.

Common name

Beach Sunflower; Beach Daisy; Sunflower, Beach


Herb or shrub to 3 m tall; stems angled; plants often scrambling.


Leaf blades about 6-11(-24) x 3-6(-12) cm, petiole 25-35(-70) mm long; blades ovate, both the upper and lower surfaces with white hairs. Margins entire to irregularly toothed from the base to the apex. Stems angled.


Flowers produced in heads about 1.5-3 cm diam., on peduncles 1.5-3 cm long,  1-3 heads per peduncle. Ray florets 8-12; ligule 3-lobed, yellow. Disc florets, ca. 20-35; corolla yellow.


Fruits produced in a dense head. Each nut (achene) obovoid, 3-4 angled, 3.5-4.5 x 2-2.7 mm, grey-black when mature and white when immature, corky.


Seed germination time 33 to 171 days. Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 3.5-8 mm diam., petiole about 5 mm long. First pair of leaves scabrous, margins entire or with a few teeth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves +/- ovate, apex acute, base cuneate to obtuse, margins conspicuously toothed, both the upper and lower surfaces slightly scabrous. Stems scabrous, longitudinally ribbed.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT and CYP. A second species, Wollastonia uniflora, is more widespread along the east coast as far south as central New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 115 m. Grows in beach forest, monsoon forest and vine thickets. Also occurs in Africa, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species has medicinal uses. This species has been used medicinally in Malaysia and the Solomon Islands. Cribb (1981).

Wedelia biflora (L.) DC., Contributions to the Botany of India : 18(1834).  Verbesina biflora L., Species Plantarum ed. 2 2: 1272(1763), Type: India.
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