Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsley) A. Gray

Synonyms Mirasolia diversifolia Hemsley.

Vernacular names Mexican sunflower (En). Indonesia: harsaga, kembang mbulan (Javanese), srengenge leutik (Sundanese). Thailand: daoruang-yipun, thantawan-nu, benchamat-nam (Bangkok).

Distribution Native to Mexico and Central America; introduced into most tropical countries, often naturalized.

Uses Used as a green manure, for erosion control on steep roadsides and in tea plantations, as an impenetrable hedge plant, in fire-breaks, and as an ornamental. The wood is collected for fuel, e.g. in Java. The flower heads are used medicinally for wounds and bruises, and contain insecticidal substances.

Observations Perennial shrub with subterranean stolons, up to 9 m tall. Leaves alternate, ovate, ovate-rhomboid, or ovate-oblong, 7—32 cm long, serrate, short-haired and minutely glandular. Inflorescence an axillary or terminal, solitary head, 6—14 cm in diameter, with both ray and tubular flowers; peduncle much thickened upwards; corolla yellow; anthers black with a yellow top; pappus consisting of a few scales and 2—3 awns. Tithonia diversifolia occurs at (0—)200—1500 m altitude. It tolerates regular heavy pruning. In Ivory Coast, annual biomass yields of 60 t/ha have been obtained at cutting intervals of 4 months. The leaves have a nitrogen content of 4%. It sometimes becomes weedy.

Selected Source:
  • [8]Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr., R.C., 1963–1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Wolters-Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. 647, 641, 761 pp.
  • [101]Mansfeld, R., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaflicher und gärtnerischer Kulturpflanzen (ohne Zierpflanzen) [Register of cultivated agricultural and horticultural plants (without ornamentals)]. Schultze-Motel, J. et al., editors 2nd edition, 4 volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 1998 pp.
  • [148]Smitinand, T., 1980. Thai plant names. Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand. 379 pp.
  • [174]Wealth of India (various editors), 1948–1976. A dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products: raw materials. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India.

Author: M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen

Source of This Article:
Sosef, M.S.M. & van der Maesen, L.J.G., 1997. Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsley) A. GrayIn: Faridah Hanum, I & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 11: Auxiliary plants. Backhuys Publisher, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 297-298

Recommended Citation:
Sosef, M.S.M. & van der Maesen, L.J.G., 1997. Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsley) A. Gray[Internet] Record from Proseabase. Faridah Hanum, I & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors).
PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. http://www.proseanet.org.
Accessed from Internet: 10-Jul-2020