Eclipta

Scientific name

Eclipta L.

Common names

false daisy, yerba de tago

Family

Asteraceae

Native distribution

warm-temperate to tropical New World

Species cultivated

common pond inhabitant but not currently cultivated commercially

Adventive distribution

Old World

Weed status

sometimes treated as a weed

Habit

helophytic, sometimes floating herb, ascending to erect

Brief description

Taproot shallow, with fibrous lateral roots. Stem creeping or erect. Foliage with white, stiff, appressed hairs. Leaves opposite, decussate; ± sessile; leaf blade lanceolate to elliptic; apex acute; base acute; margin entire to serrulate. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary radiate head, solitary or with a few in a cyme-like cluster; small. Involucre campanulate, broadly flared in flower; phyllaries ovate to lanceolate, in 2 subequal rows, free, overlapping, persistent. Receptacle flat to convex, with bristle-like paleae; ray florets biseriate, pistillate, ligulate, 2-lobed; disk florets bisexual, corolla tube 4-5-lobed, stamens 5, ovary inferior, style branches obtuse; white or yellow.

Natural habitat

moist places, freshwater marshes, pond and stream margins, and irrigated agricultural fields

Additional comments

Eclipta prostrata is a facultative wetland indicator species in the western United States and is also sold under the synonym E. alba. There are about ten species in the genus.