Elephantopus mollis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Elephantopus mollis Kunth

Protologue: Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth, Nov. gen. sp. 4, ed. fol. 4: 20 (1818).


Elephantopus tomentosus auct. non L.

Vernacular names

  • Philippines: malatabako (Tagalog), tabtabako (Iloko), kaburon (Igorot).


Tropical America; introduced and widely naturalized in tropical Africa and Asia. Reported for Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sulawesi and the Philippines.


In the Philippines, the leaves (fresh and crushed or dried and powdered) are applied to wounds as a vulnerary. A decoction of the plant is prescribed as diuretic and febrifuge. It is also reported to act as an emetic. In Hong Kong, the entire plant is used for its diuretic, antihepatic and antibronchitis properties.


A herb up to 100 cm tall, stems whitish pilose; leaves basal and cauline, elliptical-ovate or elliptical-obovate to elliptical-lanceolate, 8-22 cm × 3-7 cm; glomerules terminal, generally long-peduncled, glomerule bracts generally shorter than the involucral bracts; flowers with corolla about 5 mm long, whitish or sometimes pinkish or purplish; fruit 2.5-3 mm long with pappus bristles equal and 3.5-4 mm long. E. mollis occurs in open waste places and grasslands up to 2000 m altitude.

Selected sources

121, 202, 564, 668, 833, 852, 861, 862, 925, 1126, 1162, 1178, 1539.


Ng Lean Teik