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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 20 | Asteraceae

222. Gynura Cassini in F. Cuvier, Dict. Sci. Nat. ed. 2. 34: 391. 1825.

[Greek, presumably gyne, a female, and ura, tail, perhaps alluding to style branches]

Theodore M. Barkley†

Perennials [subshrubs, vines], 20–100[300+] cm (± velutinous or villous [hispid, puberulent, glabrous], hairs often purplish). Stems usually 1, weakly erect, spreading, or clambering (branched). Leaves [basal and/or] cauline; alternate; petiolate (petiole bases sometimes expanded, weakly clasping) or sessile; blades pinnately nerved, ovate or elliptic to rhombic [oblanceolate or lanceolate to linear], margins [entire or subentire] toothed [coarsely pinnate], faces velutinous to villous [glabrous, hispid, puberulent]. Heads discoid, usually in corymbiform or paniculiform arrays, sometimes borne singly. Calyculi of 3–8+ bractlets. Involucres cylindric to campanulate [urceolate], [3–]8–12[–15+] mm diam. Phyllaries persistent, [8] ± 13 in (1–)2+ series, erect (reflexed in fruit), distinct (margins interlocking), linear, subequal, margins scarious. Receptacles flat, foveolate (knobby in fruit), epaleate. Ray florets 0. Disc florets [20–]30–80+, bisexual, fertile; corollas yellow or orange to brick-red [purplish, ochroleucous, or white], tubes longer than funnelform throats, lobes 5, erect or reflexed, deltate to lanceolate; style branches stigmatic in 2 lines, apices with (orange or reddish) ± filiform appendages (hispidulous, 1–2 mm). Cypselae ± columnar or prismatic, 5–10-angled or -ribbed, glabrous [hairy]; pappi persistent or fragile, of 60–80+, white, smooth or barbellulate bristles. x = 10.

Species ca. 40 (1 in the flora): introduced; tropical Asia, Africa (including Madagascar), sw Pacific Islands, Australia.

Some species of Gynura are important in the horticultural trade; abundant literature is accessible through gardening compendia.


Cronquist, A. 1978c. Gynura. In: N. L. Britton et al., eds. 1905+. North American Flora.... 47+ vols. New York. Ser. 2, part 10, pp. 150–151. Davis, F. G. 1981. The genus Gynura (Compositae) in Malesia and Australia. Kew Bull. 35: 711–734.

Lower Taxon


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