Youngia japonica

Youngia japonica (L.) DC.

Common Names: Oriental False Hawks Beard

Family: Asteraceae

Habit: Youngia japonica grows as an annual to 50 cm in height when in flower. The leaves are arranged alternately, forming a basal rosette, to 16 cm in length, pinnatifid/dentate/lobed, ovate to obovate with an obtuse leaf apex. Stalks have a milky sap.

The flowering stalks are cymes to panicles terminating in heads. The heads are subtended by two series of involucral bracts (phyllaries). The calyx is modified as a ring of hairs (pappus).  There are only perfect (disc) flowers. Each flower is subtended by a bract.

The perfect, zygomorphic flowers have a corolla with 5 fused, yellow petals. There are 5 stamens fused at their base. The ovary is inferior with a single locule and ovule. The fruit is a ribbed achene at maturity that retains the modified calyx (pappus) as white, hairlike bristles.

Habitat: Youngia japonica grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, fields, waste areas, roadsides).

Distribution: Youngia japonica is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to Asia but is distributed worldwide as an introduced weed.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Youngia japonica is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

The leaves are known to be edible.