Conyza sumatrensis

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Conyza sumatrensis
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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Conyza
Species: C. sumatrensis
Binomial name
Conyza sumatrensis
(Retz.) E. Walker
Synonyms
  • Conyza groegeri V.M.Badillo
  • Erigeron sumatrensis Retz.
  • Conyza albida Willd. ex Spreng.
  • Erigeron albidus (Willd. ex Spreng.) A.Gray

Conyza sumatrensis is an annual herb probably native to South America, but widely naturalised in tropical and subtropical regions, and regarded as an invasive weed in many places.[1][2] In the British Isles it is known as Guernsey fleabane.[3] Other common names include fleabane, tall fleabane, broad-leaved fleabane, white horseweed, and Sumatran fleabane.

Description[edit]

When fully grown (in summer or autumn), Conyza sumatrensis reaches one to two metres in height. Flowers are white rather than purple-pink. Its leaves are like dandelion leaves, but longer, thinner and more like primrose leaves in colour and texture. Its seeding heads are like dandelions, but straw coloured and smaller.[4] In certain countries the plant has started to exhibit resistance to herbicides.[5]

Distribution[edit]

It probably originates from South America, but is now naturalised in North America, Europe,[6] Africa,[7] Asia,[8] and Australasia.[9] It poses a significant threat to wildlife conservation areas and other reserves. In Britain, of the alien British Conyza species, this is the second most abundant (after C. canadensis) and is typically found in London and the South East of England. It was first recorded in London by Brian Wurzell in 1984,[10] and noted in France at Saint-Sozy (Dordogne) in 2006.[11]

Its invasive nature and competitive ability could suppress the native flora in the more open habitats it favours.

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