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Toothache Plant branch.JPG
Acmella ciliata
Scientific classification

Type species
Acmella repens
(Walter) Rich.[2][3]
  • Spilanthes section Acmella (Pers.) DC.
  • Athronia Neck

Acmella is a genus [4][5] of plants in the aster family, Asteraceae, described as a genus in 1807.[6][3] It is native to the Americas and has been introduced to Asia, Africa, the Pacific islands, and Australia.[4]

One familiar species is Acmella oleracea, which has been widely cultivated for centuries. It is used for food and medicine, and as an insecticide and an ornamental plant. Its common use as an herbal remedy for toothache and oral infections earned it the nickname toothache plant.[5]

These are annual or perennial herbs with branching stems usually reaching 10 to 20 centimeters in length, growing prostrate or erect. The oppositely arranged leaves are smooth-edged or toothed, and usually have rough or soft hairs. The flower heads are usually solitary at the tips of the stem branches, or occasionally borne in inflorescences. There are several to many disc florets with bell-shaped throats and 4 or 5 triangular lobes, usually yellow, or sometimes orange. Some species lack ray florets, but some have 5 to 20 or more, usually in yellow or orange, but occasionally white or purple. The disc florets are bisexual, but any ray florets are pistillate.[4]


Accepted Species[7]
  1. Acmella alba (L'Hér.) R.K.Jansen
  2. Acmella alpestris (Griseb.) R.K.Jansen
  3. Acmella bellidioides (Sm.) R.K.Jansen
  4. Acmella brachyglossa Cass.
  5. Acmella calva (DC.) R.K.Jansen
  6. Acmella caulirhiza Delile
  7. Acmella ciliata (Kunth) Cass.
  8. Acmella darwinii (D.M.Porter) R.K.Jansen
  9. Acmella decumbens (Sm.) R.K.Jansen
  10. Acmella filipes (Greenm.) R.K.Jansen
  11. Acmella glaberrima (Hassl.) R.K.Jansen
  12. Acmella grandiflora (Turcz.) R.K.Jansen
  13. Acmella grisea (Chodat) R.K.Jansen
  14. Acmella iodiscaea (A.H.Moore) R.K.Jansen
  15. Acmella leptophylla (DC.) R.K.Jansen
  16. Acmella leucantha (Kunth) R.K.Jansen
  17. Acmella lundellii R.K.Jansen
  18. Acmella oleracea (L.) R.K.Jansen
  19. Acmella oppositifolia (Lam.) R.K.Jansen
  20. Acmella paniculata (Wall. ex DC.) R.K.Jansen
  21. Acmella papposa (Hemsl.) R.K.Jansen
  22. Acmella pilosa R.K.Jansen
  23. Acmella poliolepidica (A.H.Moore) R.K.Jansen
  24. Acmella psilocarpa R.K.Jansen
  25. Acmella pusilla (Hook. & Arn.) R.K.Jansen
  26. Acmella radicans (Jacq.) R.K.Jansen
  27. Acmella ramosa (Hemsl.) R.K.Jansen
  28. Acmella repens (Walter) Rich. ex Pers.
  29. Acmella serratifolia R.K.Jansen
  30. Acmella sodiroi (Hieron.) R.K.Jansen
  31. Acmella uliginosa (Sw.) Cass.


  1. ^ Panero, J. L.; et al. (1999). "Phylogenetic relationships of Subtribe Ecliptinae (Asteraceae: Heliantheae) based on chloroplast DNA restriction site data". American Journal of Botany. Botanical Society of America. 86 (3): 413–27. doi:10.2307/2656762. JSTOR 2656762. PMID 10077503.
  2. ^ lectotype designated by Jansen, Syst. Bot. Monogr. 8: 19 (1985)
  3. ^ a b c Tropicos, Acmella Pers.
  4. ^ a b c "Acmella Richard". Flora of North America.
  5. ^ a b Chung, K.; et al. (2008). "Notes on Acmella (Asteraceae: Heliantheae) in Taiwan" (PDF). Bot Stud. 49: 73–82. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-03.
  6. ^ Persoon, Christiaan Hendrik. 1807. Synopsis Plantarum 2: 472-473 in Latin
  7. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved June 5, 2014.

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