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Dittrichia viscosa

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Dittrichia viscosa, also known as false yellowhead,<ref>Template:PLANTS</ref> woody fleabane,<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Cite web</ref> sticky fleabane and yellow fleabane, is a flowering plant in the daisy family.

Dittrichia viscosa is a highly branching perennial common throughout the Mediterranean Basin. It has long, narrow leaves that are pointed at both ends and have teeth along the edges and glandular hairs on the surfaces. One plant can produce many yellow flower heads each with as many as 16 ray florets and 44 disc florets.<ref>Malta Wild Plants, false yellowhead, Dittrichia viscosa includes photos, description, etymology, and other information</ref>

Originally, the species was found mainly in dry riverbeds and abandoned fields up to a 1500 m (5000 feet) elevation. Nowadays it is quite common in roadsides and ruderal habitats, even in urban areas. It is considered an invasive species in Australia.<ref>Weeds Australia, False yellowhead (Dittrichia viscosa) weed management guide Template:En icon</ref> The false yellowhead is a tough plant, very resistant to adverse conditions and degraded environments. It is important as food for the caterpillars of certain butterflies and moths, like Iolana iolas.

Despite the fresh-looking green color of its leaves and its attractive inflorescence,<ref>Institució Catalana d'Història Natural, Flora del Bages - Olivarda in Catalan with photos</ref> this plant is sticky and has a certain smell that most people find unpleasant. It contains an essential oil<ref>Ses Sitges, Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, Plantes aromàtiques Template:Webarchive in Italian, with photos and descriptions of several aromatic herbs</ref> and has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times, especially in the Levant, as an astringent.<ref>Avisco Ltd., Traditional medicine uses of Inula viscosa</ref>

It is an important plant in Catalan tradition, often mentioned in adages and proverbs. One adage says that: "No vos 'nemoreu, amor,de cap fadrina gallarda que és com la flor d'olivarda molt guapa, i dolenta d'olor." [My dear one, don't fall in love with any woman who only has good looks, she is like a false yellowhead flower: beautiful, but full of stench.]

Subspecies<ref name=patella/>
  • Dittrichia viscosa subsp. angustifolia (Bég.) Greuter
  • Dittrichia viscosa subsp. maritima (Brullo & De Marco) Greuter
  • Dittrichia viscosa subsp. revoluta (Hoffmanns. & Link) P.Silva & Tutin
  • Dittrichia viscosa subsp. viscosa

Leaves, flowers and fruits

References

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External links

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