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IUCN: not evaluated
Family: ASTERACEAE Genus: Distephanus Species: populifolius Species Author: (Lam.) cass.
This is a small, well-branched shrub that reaches 3 m in height. The stems can reach 1 cm in diameter and are covered with white hairs. The leaves alternate each other, have an oval to triangular lamina measuring 3 to 13.5 cm in length by 1.3 to 9.5 cm in width. The upper leaf surface is dark green with a denser tomentum on the veins. The lower leaf surface is entirely covered by a dense silvery white tomentum and the venation pattern is more prominent below. The petiole is 1 to 4 cm long. The inflorescence is formed by 1 to 3 terminal cymoses of 1 to 2 capitula. These can reach 4.5 cm in length. The peduncles are tough, with dense white tomentum and short bracts. The capitula are 10 to 14 mm in diameter.
Involucre bracts are rigid and occur in series of 4 to 5. The external ones are oval to elliptical, 4 to 4.5 mm by 1.5 to 2 mm and bear white trichomes. They are also very smooth with a prominent midvein on the dorsal surface. The innermost bracts are elliptical and 6 mm by 1.5 mm. They are usually smooth at the base and in the inner surface as well.
The receptacle is flattened and filiform. The flowers are fragrant, bear a golden yellow corolla with a tube that can be 4 mm long. The achenes are cylindrical, 3 to 4 mm long and somewhat glandular.
The genus Distephanus encompasses some 40 species that are distributed in tropical regions of Asia and Africa, with most species belonging to Madagascar.
Distephanus populifolius is endemic to Mauritius in the SW Indian Ocean where it is rare and confined to the summits areas of a few mountains.
We currently have 5 herbarium specimens for Distephanus populifolius in our collection. Click on any specimen below to view the herbarium sheet data.