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Compositae (alt. asteraceae)

Vernonia titanophylla Brenan

General Information

This species is very unusual in that, as a member of the Compositae or daisy family, it is one of the very few members of that family to be a tree. The large leaves which give rise to the Latin name ‘titanophylla’ are very distinctive and can be up to 1.5 m long. There are often the remains of a terminal, much-branched inflorescence. The leaves are white on the lower surface due to densely packed white hairs. The secondary veins divide before reaching the toothed margin, but each tooth has a clear veinlet running to the tip of the tooth. The slash is yellowish with some darker fibres. There is at least one other tree species of Vernonia in the area but it does not have the clear finger-processes on the petiole.


Disturbed forest and light gaps in mixed species terra firma forest.


Distribution: Guinea Bissau to DRC.