Chromolaena odorata

Chromolaena odorata (L.) R. M. King & H. Rob.

Synonym: Eupatorium odoratum

Common Names: Bitter Bush, Tonka Bean

Family: Asteraceae

Habit: Chromolaena odorata  is a woody herbaceous perennial growing as a climbing shrub to 3 meters in height, typically shorter. The leaves are arranged oppositely, to 15 cm in length, triangular to ovate with an acuminate leaf apex and dentate leaf margin with large teeth.  The vegetative structures are covered with articulate hairs throughout.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in corymbs of heads subtended an involucre made of 4 series of phyllaries. The calyx is modified as hairs forming a pappus.  The corolla has 5 fused white to lavender petals.  There are 5 stamens fused to the base of the corolla.  The ovary is inferior with a single locule.  The fruit is an achene at maturity that retains the modified calyx (pappus).

Habitat: Chromolaena odorata grows in Human Altered environments (farms, cleared areas, yards/gardens) as well as Pine Woodlands, and the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Woodland/Shrubland (low coppice/scrubland).

Distribution: Chromolaena odorata occurs on all island groups in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Chromolaena odorata  is not used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.