Tridax procumbens (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Tridax procumbens L.

Family: Compositae

Vernacular names

  • Mexican daisy, coat buttons (En)
  • Indonesia: gletang (Indonesian), katumpang (Sundanese, Javanese)
  • Malaysia: kancing baju (Peninsular)
  • Thailand: tintukkae (Suphan Buri).


Originally from Central America; introduced and now naturalized in many tropical countries.


Proposed as a cover crop, but its actual use and value are questionable. The leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, and are also useful as a fodder. They are used medicinally against bronchial catarrh, dysentery, and diarrhoea. Leaf juice possesses antiseptic, insecticidal, and parasiticidal properties.


  • Perennial herb with creeping stems which are obliquely erect at the apex, up to 75 cm long.
  • Leaves opposite, ovate-elliptical, 0.5-5 cm long, coarsely serrate or lobed, hispid.
  • Inflorescence a terminal, solitary head, about 2 cm in diameter, on peduncle 10-30 cm long, with ray and tubular flowers; involucre campanulate, about 3-seriate.
  • Flowers with yellow corolla.
  • Pappus bristles long-plumose.

T. procumbens is found in sunny, dry locations, especially sandy and rocky sites like roadsides, railways, dunes, and waste places, up to 1000 m altitude. Occasionally it is a troublesome weed.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr., R.C., 1963-1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Wolters-Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. 647, 641, 761 pp.
  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2nd Edition. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2444 pp.
  • Heyne, K., 1950. De nuttige planten van Indonesië [The useful plants of Indonesia]. 3rd Edition. 2 volumes. W. van Hoeve, the Hague, the Netherlands/Bandung, Indonesia. 261, 1450 pp.
  • Smitinand, T., 1980. Thai plant names. Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand. 379 pp.
  • Wealth of India (various editors), 1948-1976. A dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products: raw materials. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India. 4441 pp.


  • M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen