Pluchea odorata (L.) Cass.
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)
Plant Characteristics: Annual
to perennial, erect, branched above, 3-12 dm. high, green; lvs. alternate, ovate
to lanceolate, glandular-dentate, 5-10 cm. long, 2-3 cm. wide, the lower
petioled; corymbs large, discoid, with numerous purplish fls.; cent. fls. few,
perfect, but sometimes sterile, with 5-cleft corolla; marginal fls. female, and
perfect, the corolla narrowly tubular, truncate, entire or 2-3 toothed; invol.
chartaceous, campanulate, ca. 5 mm. high; phyllaries lance-ovate; pappus of all
the fls. similar, setaceous, without dilated tips.
Habitat: Occasional in
+/- alkaline wet places, at low elevs.; Coastal Salt Marsh, Freshwater Marsh,
etc.; cismontane s. Calif. n. to cent. Calif.; deserts from Inyo Co. s.; to
Atlantic Coast; Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz Ids.
Name: Pluche, N.A. (1688-1761), French naturalist after whom the plant
genus Pluchea, was named by Cassini.
(Jaeger 314). Latin, purpurascens,
purplish. (Jaeger 214).
General: Common in the
study area, particularly in the Big Canyon area.
Photographed at Big Canyon, along the path leading southerly from 23rd
Street, and along the road from the Newporter Inn to San Joaquin Hills Dr.
(my comments). The
hot tea of P. odorata will
predictably stimulate perspiration, much in the same manner as Pleurisy Root or
Pennyroyal, with an increase both in the liquid and waste products.
Without an elevated temperature or increased metabolic rate, the main
effects of the tea are to increase the urine. It
is a safe and reliable menstrual stimulant when the flow begins late, is scanty,
and there are clotty cramps. Further,
Marsh Fleabane is distinctly antispasmodic, thus aiding the cramps.
It will also inhibit the spasms and cramps from both diarrhea and just
plain stomachache. The eyewash
helps reduce redness and pain from simple hay fever, wind and dust.
The tea is a stimulant and a concentrate was once marketed as a
substitute for coffee. Unlike
coffee which is a vasoconstrictor, Marsh Fleabane is a vasodilator; it is not
recommended for people who get migraine headaches. (Moore, Medicinal
Plants of the Desert and Canyon West 70).
A genus of some size, from warmer regions.
(Munz, Flora So. Calif. 219).
and P. camphorata misapplied to P.
odorata. (Hickman, Ed. 326, 1330).
Text Ref: Hickman, Ed.
326, 1330; Munz, Flora So. Calif. 219; Roberts 13.
Photo Ref: July 2 83 #
16,17; July 3 83 # 18; Sept 1 83 # 16.
Identity: by R. De Ruff.
First Found: July 1983.
Computer Ref: Plant Data 190
Have plant specimen.
Last edit 5/15/05.
July Photo July Photo