Dec. 16, 2020

lilac tasselflower, Emilia sonchifolia

Lilac tasselflower is a bit of a weed, I suppose. I suspect people in the south that see these often react to them like northerners react to the namesake (Sonchus) sowthistles. They're just a weed that sometimes catches your eye, and sometimes gets pulled out of the garden. But to a northerner, they're a sign that you have arrived in the South, and they're quite pretty. In its native Asia, tasselflower has been used as medicine to treat several diverse ailments. There are also reports of the foliage being eaten, despite mild toxicity. With us lilac tasselflower has popped up in CA, FL, GA, HI, LA, OH, and SC. Martin Co FL, 1/27/13. Aster family, Asteraceae.