Parthenium hysterophorus

Parthenium hysterophorus L.

Common Names: Pound Cake Bush

Family: Asteraceae

Habit: Parthenium hysterophorus grows as a highly branched annual up to 75 cm in height with slightly pubescent vegetation. The subsessile leaves are arranged alternately, to 15 cm in length, ovate to oblong and divided into a deeply lobed/toothed leaf margin.

The incomplete, imperfect actinomorphic flowers are arranged in heads in leaf axis and the tips of branches. The heads contain 6-12 flowers and each flower is subtended by a bract. The disc flowers are in the center and the ray flowers are arranged around the edge of the heads. The staminate flowers have a white petal and 4 stamens and a non-functional carpel. The carpellate flowers have a corolla with a white petal and 2 staminodes. The ovary is inferior with a single locule.  The fruit is an achene at maturity that retains the modified calyx (pappus).

Habitat: Parthenium hysterophorus grows in Human Altered environments (fields, yards, roadsides).

Distribution: Parthenium hysterophorus occurs throughout the entire Lucayan Archipelago.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Parthenium hysterophorus is used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago for gynecological issues, colds and flu, circulatory problems, and dermatological difficulties.