Yerba De Faja
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Yerba De Faja
P Naturalized Photo: Regy Yohannan
Common name: Yerba De Faja
Botanical name: Struchium sparganophorum    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Ethulia sparganophora, Struchium herbaceum

Yerba De Faja is an erect, branched, semi-aquatic herbs, with stem green, sparsely finely velvet-hairy. Leaves are alternate, elliptic-lanceshaped, base narrowed and decurrent on the leaf-stalk at base, margins minutely toothed-finely toothed, tip pointed or tapering; leaf-stalk to 2.5 cm long. Flower-heads are borne in leaf-axils, stalkless, cluster of 4-5, about 5 mm across, spherical, white, homogamous. Involucre in 4-5 series, outer smaller and inner larger, triangular to inverted-lanceshaped, tapering, greenish, margins scarious and hairy. Receptacle convex, pitted. Florets are all tubular, without palea, 4-5 mm long, bisexual. Calyx of three white, 0.5 mm long, pointed scales united variously, persistent. Flower 2-3 mm long, white, tube narrow, lobes 5, spreading glandular. Stamens 3; filaments thread-like, white. Ovary about 1.5 mm long; stigma bifid, purple. Achenes about 1.5 mm long, triangular, blackish. Yerba De Faja is native to Tropical America, naturalized in Western Ghats.
Medicinal uses: A tea made from the whole plant is taken as a treatment for headaches, colds, wheezing, asthma and backache. The juice of the whole plant is rubbed on cuts and ulcers.

Identification credit: Regy Yohannan Photographed in Kerala.

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