False daisy is a species of plant in the sunflower family. It is widespread across much of the world.
Erect herbs; stems appressed, strigose. Leaves simple, opposite, 1-3×0.20.5 cm, oblong or oblong-elliptic, apex acute or subacuminate, base cuneate, entire, densely strigose, sessile or subsessile. Heads 4-5 mm across; peduncles appressed strigose. Involucral bracts in 2 rows. Ray fl orets 2-3- seriate, female, ca. 4 mm long. Ligules minute, ovate, acute, membranous. Corolla ca. 2.5 mm long with 2 unequal, obtusetipped lobes at apex. Disk fl orets numerous, ca. 3 mm long. Corolla campanulate, ca. 1.6 mm long; lobes 4, ovate, ciliate on margin. Stamens 4 or 5, sagittate. Ovary 1.1-1.2 mm long. Achenes yellowish brown to brown, oblong-turbinate, dorsiventrally compressed and sharply angled; pappus of partially or completely united scales forming a cone at the apex.
False daisy's Behavior & Ecology
Requires a damp to wet soil and a position in some shade. The plant is fast-growing and early flowering, able to produce 17,000 seeds from one plant. It has become a weed in many parts of the tropics and is often invasive. It is a very common weed of rice fields, sugarcane fields and coconut plantations.
False daisy's Reproduction
Propagation Seed - requires light for germination and so should be surface sown or only just covered. Viability is at least 5 months at ambient temperatures, germination occurring between the temperatures of 10 - 35°c. Germination is significantly improved by alternating temperatures of 20°c and 35°c.
False daisy's Relationship with Humans
Edible Uses - Tender leaves and young shoots - cooked and used as a vegetable. The leaves are also used in chutneys.
Medicinal Uses - This species is widely used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and in Ayurveda. It is considered to be the best remedy for the hair, an excellent treatment for a range of skin disorders, and is also used as a rejuvenator and liver tonic. The plant has been shown to contain isoflavonoids including wedelolactone and desmethylwedelolactone glucoside. In trials, the plant has shown moderate activity against a variety of animal cancers. Extracts have been used to treat carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage. The whole plant contains the alkaloids nicotine and ecliptine as well as coumarin. It is astringent, deobstruent, depurative, emetic, febrifuge, ophthalmic, purgative, styptic and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of dropsy and liver complaints, anaemia, diphtheria etc, tinnitus, tooth loss and premature greying of the hair. Externally, the plant is used as an oil to treat hair loss and is also applied to athlete's foot, eczema, dermatitis, wounds etc. It is applied to cuts, bruises and sores in order to stop bleeding and relieve pain. The plant juice, mixed with an aromatic (essential oil), is used in the treatment of catarrhal problems and jaundice. The leaves are used to treat fevers, eye diseases, asthma, bronchitis, liver problems, diarrhoea and weak bladder. A decoction is used to treat cancer. The leaves are used in the treatment of scorpion stings, and as an antidote for snake bites. The ground up leaves are rubbed on the head of infants as a remedy for convulsions, and are rubbed on the skin to make pigmented blotches on infants disappear. The leaves are also used to treat a range of other skin problems including cuts, sores, pimples, rashes and various diseases, including leprosy. The juice of crushed leaves is used in a decoction to wash the scalp for preventing hair loss. The stem and leaves are used to treat anaemia and dysentery. Aerial portions of the plant are reputedly effective in a beverage to remedy albuminuria. The roots are emetic and purgative. They are applied externally as an antiseptic to ulcers and wounds, especially in cattle. The flowers are used to treat conjunctivitis.
False daisy habitat
Eclipta prostrata typically grows on the banks of pools and lakes, on the edge of rivers, swamps and ditches and seasonally inundated depressions. It is also perceived as a weed in irrigated agricultural land such as rice fields.
False daisy threats
There are no known significant past, ongoing of future threats to this species.