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Wollastonia biflora.jpg
Melanthera biflora (L.) Wild
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Heliantheae[1][2]
Genus: Melanthera

Melanthera, squarestem,[5] is a genus of flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae, native to North and South America, as well as Africa, Asia and Oceania, including Hawaiʻi.[6][7][8][9][10]

The generic name means "black anther."[11]

The most common species of this genus is Melanthera biflora, found in the coastal areas and islands of the tropical belt of the Indo-Pacific region.[12] Together with Portulaca oleracea, Ipomoea pes-caprae and Digitaria ciliaris, Melanthera biflora is usually one of the first species colonizing degraded or altered environments in tropical zones of the planet.[13]

Despite their general hardiness, leaves of Melanthera species are often attacked by rusts such as Uromyces columbianus and Uromyces martinii.[14]


There are difficulties regarding the classification of this genus for its affinities are uncertain. Further studies are needed to clarify its taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships.[15][16]


This is a list of species.[1][17]

  1. Melanthera abyssinica (Sch.Bip. ex A.Rich.) Vatke - tropical Africa from Ethiopia to Tanzania + Sierra Leone
  2. Melanthera angustifolia A.Rich. - Central America, Cuba, Yucatán, Bahamas, southern Florida
  3. Melanthera biflora (L.) Wild. Indo-Pacific
  4. Melanthera bryanii (Sherff) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. – Pili Nehe; Hawaiʻi
  5. Melanthera buchii Urb. - Haiti
  6. Melanthera cinerea Schweinf. ex Schweinf. - Africa
  7. Melanthera discoidea S.F.Blake - Amazonas State in Brazil
  8. Melanthera elliptica O.Hoffm. - central Africa
  9. Melanthera fauriei (H. Lév.) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. – Olokele Canyon Nehe; Hawaiʻi
  10. Melanthera felicis C.D.Adams - Guinea in West Africa
  11. Melanthera gambica Hutch. & Dalziel - Gambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau in West Africa
  12. Melanthera hastata (Walt.) Rich. - Michoacán in Mexico, Islas de la Bahía in Honduras, Bahamas, El Salvador
  13. Melanthera integrifolia (Nutt.) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. – Kure Atoll Nehe; Hawaiʻi
  14. Melanthera kamolensis (O.Deg.) & Sherff) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. – Maui Nehe; Mauʻi
  15. Melanthera latifolia (Gardner) Cabrera - Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina
  16. Melanthera lavarum (Gaudich.) W.L. Wagner & H.Rob. – Coastal Nehe; Hawaiʻi.
  17. Melanthera micrantha (Nutt.) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. - Hawaiʻi
  18. Melanthera nivea (L.) Small – Pineland Squarestem, Snow Squarestem, Yerba de Cabra; SE United States (LA MS AL GA FL SC TN KY IL),[18] Caribbean, Mexico (from Tamaulipas to Quintana Roo), Central America, South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guianas, northern Brazil)
  19. Melanthera parvifolia Small – Small-leaf Squarestem - southern Florida
  20. Melanthera perdita (Sherff) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. – Koʻokoʻolau; Hawaiʻi
  21. Melanthera populifolia (Sherff) W.L. Wagner & H.Rob. – Grassland Nehe; Hawaiʻi
  22. Melanthera prostrata (Hemsl.) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. - China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam[19]
  23. Melanthera pungens Oliv. & Hiern - tropical Africa
  24. Melanthera remyi (A.Gray) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. – Annual Nehe; Hawaiʻi
  25. Melanthera scandens (Schumach.) Roberty[20]
  26. Melanthera rhombifolia O.Hoffm. & Muschl. - West Africa
  27. Melanthera richardsae Wild - tropical Africa
  28. Melanthera robinsonii Wild - tropical Africa
  29. Melanthera robusta (Makino) K.Ohashi & H.Ohashi - Japan, Taiwan
  30. Melanthera scaberrima Hiern - Angola
  31. Melanthera scandens (Schumach. & Thonn.) Roberty - tropical Africa
  32. Melanthera subcordata (A.Gray) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. - Hawaiʻi
  33. Melanthera tenuifolia (A.Gray) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. – Waianae Range Nehe; Oʻahu
  34. Melanthera tenuis (O.Deg. & Sherff) W.L.Wagner & H.Rob. – Streambed Nehe; Hawaiʻi
  35. Melanthera triternata (Klatt) Wild - southern Africa
  36. Melanthera venosa (Sherff) W.L. Wagner & H.Rob. – Spreading Nehe; Hawaiʻi
  37. Melanthera waimeaensis (H.St.John) W.L. Wagner & H.Rob. – Waimea Canyon Nehe; Kauaʻi


  1. ^ a b c Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist Archived 2014-11-06 at
  2. ^ "Genus Melanthera". Taxonomy. UniProt. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  3. ^ "Genus: Melanthera Rohr". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1996-09-17. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  4. ^ GRIN - Genus: Wollastonia DC. ex Decne.
  5. ^ "Melanthera". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Rohr, Julius Philip Benjamin von. 1792. Skrifter af Naturhistorie-Selskabet 2(1): 213–214
  7. ^ Davidse, G., M. Sousa-Peña, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera. 2015. Asteraceae. 5(2): ined. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera (eds.) Flora Mesoamericana. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F..
  8. ^ Parks, J. C. 1973. A revision of North American and Caribbean Melanthera (Compositae). Rhodora 75: 169–210.
  9. ^ Pruski, J.F. 1997. Asteraceae. 3: 177–393. In J. A. Steyermark, P. E. Berry & B. K. Holst (eds.) Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis
  10. ^ Wild, H. 1965. The African species of the genus Melanthera Rohr. Kirkia 5: 1–17
  11. ^ Flora of North America Vol. 21 Page 123 Melanthera Rohr, Skr. Naturhist.-Selsk. 2: 213. 1792.
  12. ^ Response of Melanthera biflora to Salinity and Water Stress
  13. ^ Heatwole, H., Done, T., Cameron, E. Community Ecology of a Coral Cay, A Study of One-Tree Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Series: Monographiae Biologicae, Vol. 43, p. 102
  14. ^ George Baker Cummins (1978). "Rust Fungi on Legumes and Composites in North America". Tucson: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-0653-1. 
  15. ^ Phylogenetic relationships of subtribe Ecliptinae - American Journal of Botany
  16. ^ Orchard, Anthony E. 2013. The Wollastonia/Melanthera/Wedelia generic concept (Asteraceae:Ecliptinae), with particular reference to Australia and Malesia. Nuytsia 23:337-466 (as Acunniana procumbens (DC.) Orchard),
  17. ^ "Melanthera". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  18. ^ Biota of North America Program, 2013 county distribution map
  19. ^ Flora of China, Vol. 20-21 Page 871 卤地菊 lu di ju Melanthera prostrata (Hemsley) W. L. Wagner & H. Robinson, Brittonia. 53: 557. 2002.
  20. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Melanthera". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 

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