Cyanthillium cinereum

Cyanthillium cinereum (L.) H. Rob.

Synonym: Vernonia cinerea

Common Names: Little Iron Weed

Family: Asteraceae

Habit: Cyanthillium cinereum is a annual herb up to 1 meter in height (usually less than 50 cm). Leaves arranged alternately, spathulate, to 3 cm in length, pubescent adaxially and pubescent glandular abaxially. The leaf apex is acute or obtuse and the base is attenuate.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in heads that are arranged in panicles. The heads are subtended by a series of involucral bracts. The calyx is modified as a ring of small projections (pappus).  The corolla with 5 fused, pink petals.  There are 5 stamens fused at their base. The ovary is inferior with a single locule and seed. The fruit is an achene at maturity that retains the modified calyx (pappus) as a fringe of hairs.

Habitat: Cyanthillium cinereum occurs in Human Altered environments (roadsides, fields, yards).

Distribution: Cyanthillium cinereum is a native of Africa and tropical Asia but now naturalized throughout in the islands of the Lucayan Archipelago as well as tropical and subtropical regions of the globe.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Cyanthillium cinereum is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago. It has been used in other places to treat colds and flu, gastrointestinal issues and dermatological problems.