Dittrichia viscosa

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Dittrichia viscosa
Dittrichia viscosa InflorescencesCloseup2 27September2009 DehesaBoyaldePuertollano.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Inuleae
Genus: Dittrichia
Species: D. viscosa
Binomial name
Dittrichia viscosa
(L.) Greuter, 1973
Synonyms
  • Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton
  • Cupularia viscosa (L.) Gren. & Godr.

Dittrichia viscosa, also known as False Yellowhead, Sticky Fleabane, Woody Fleabane and Yellow Fleabane, is a flowering plant in the daisy family.

This perennial plant is common throughout the Mediterranean Basin. Originally it was found mainly in dry riverbeds and abandoned fields up to a height of 1.500 m. Nowadays it is quite common in roadsides and ruderal habitats, even in urban areas. It is considered an invasive species in Australia.[1] The False Yellowhead is a tough plant, very resistant to adverse conditions and degraded environments. It is important as food for the caterpillars of certain butterflies and moths, like Ioana iolas.[2]

Despite the fresh-looking green color of its leaves and its attractive inflorescence,[3] this plant is sticky and has a certain smell that most people find unpleasant. It contains an essential oil[4] and has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times, especially in the Levant, as an astringent.[5]

It is an important plant in Catalan tradition, often mentioned in adages and proverbs. One adage says that: "els raïms són madurs quan floreixen les olivardes.", the grapes are ripe when the Yellow Fleabane blooms.

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