Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Blumea balsamifera (L.) DC., Prodr. 5: 447. 1836; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 3: 270. 1881. Conyza balsamifera L. Sp. Pl. ed. 2: 1208. 1753.

Shrubs or undershrubs, perennial, evergreen; stems woody with greyish brown bark, 0.5-4.0 m simple at base, corymbosely branched above, densely woolly with yellowish white hairs. Leaves appendiculate, lamina variable, usually narrowly oblong-lanceolate or oblong-obovate, ovate, with tapering bases, acute to apiculate, entire or pinnately lobed, serrate-serrulate, usually with upcurved teeth; petiole up to 3 cm.6-30 x 1-12 cm, coriaceous, upper surface rugose and pilose, lower densely silky-woolly. Heads 6-9 mm in diam., in axillary and terminal, lax panicles, peduncle 3-10 mm long. Involucral bracts sometimes larger than florets, linear, acute, 1-9 mm, densely woolly on dorsal surface, herbaceous. Receptacle 2-4 mm in diam., slightly convex, alveolate, glabrous. Corolla of bisexual florets yellow, tubular, 4-7 mm long, 5-lobed; lobes acute, papillate; pubescent; corolla of female florets filiform, 6 mm long, 2-4 lobed, glabrous. Achenes brown, oblong, 10-ribbed , silky. Pappus 4-6 mm long.

Fl. & Fr. Throughout the year.

Distrib. India: E. Himalaya, in dry fields and grasslands, on mountain s.opes and along river banks, ascending up to 1200 m. W. Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, China, S.E. Asia and Philippines.

Notes. The most arboraceous of all species of the genus with strong smell of camphor. Blumea balsamifera DC. is the type species of the genus Blumea.

Uses. The distillate of leaves is used medicinally to cure throat and chest ailments, dropsy and high fever. Camphor is commercially extracted in China and Myanmar for export.

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