Keys available in BSI Flora of India:

1a. Small, 3.5 – 20 mm tall herbs; leaves chiefly radical, scabrid; capitula pink purple; achenes 2 mm long. dirty brown, bispid 6. Emilia scabra
b. Herbs more than 20 cm tall; leaves both radical and cauline or only cauline 2
2a. Leaves only cauline 3
b. Leaves both radieal and cauline 7
3a. Weak herbs 4
b. Stout herbs 6
4a. Achenes glabrous; capitula scarlet-red 4. Emilia prenanthoides
b. Achenes hispid; capitula not as above 5
5a. Capitula pinkish lavender; florets exerted about 5 – 6 mm from the involucre 2. Emilia exserta
b. Capitula bright purple; florets exserted about 2 – 3 mm from the involucre 1. Emilia alstonii
6a. Stems much branched; leaves linear-oblong or spathulate, glabrous above and softly crispate hirsute beneath; margins recurved; capitula solitary, terminating long, naked peduncles 5. Emilia ramulosa
b. Stems simple, not much branched; leaves lanceolate, glabrous, margins entire or distantly serrate, not recurved; capitula in corymb on short peduncles 3. Emilia javanica
b. Capitula purple. Achenes hispid 8
8a. Leaves lyrately pinnatifid with triangular-ovate terminal lobe 7. Emilia sonchifolia
b. Leaves linear-oblong or oblanceolate 8. Emilia zeylanica


Emilia alstonii Fosberg (Images by Subhanjan Kayet – Id by Prabhu Kumar KM & J.M.Garg) 



Emilia prenanthoidea DC. (Tropical & Subtropical Asia: Assam, Bangladesh, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Jawa, Laos, Malaya, Myanmar, New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam as per POWO)

Emilia ramulosa Gamble (Images by Alka Khare – Id by Muthu Karhick)




Emilia scabra DC. ex Wight (India (Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu), Vietnam as per Catalogue of Life)

Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC. ex DC. 

(Images by tspkumar)



(Images by Karuna Kanta Das (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more images, click on the links)) 




Emilia species in India (Distribution as per BSI Flora of India):
  1. Emilia alstonii Fosberg (India: South India, in wet deciduous to evergreen forests. Karnataka; Sri Lanka)
  2. E. coccinea (Sims.) G.Don (Not mentioned)
  3. E. exserta Fosberg (India: S. India, between 50 – 600 m. Karnataka; Sri Lanka)
  4. E. javanica (Burm.f.) C.B.Rob [= Emilia sonchifolia var. javanica (Burm. f.) Mattf.] (W. Ghats, between 3000 – 4000 m. Maharashtra; Philippines and Africa)
  5. E. prenanthoidea DC. (India: Sikkim and Assam; Bangla Desh and Myanmar)
  6. E. ramulosa Gamble (India: Tamil Nadu and Kerala)
  7. E. scabra DC. (India: Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu)
  8. E. sonchifolia (L.) DC. ex DC. [var. sonchifolia (India: Throughout); var. mucronata C.B.Clarke (India: South India)]
  9. E. zeylanica C.B.Clarke [var. paludosa (India: W. Ghats, in swamps. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu); var. walkeri (Hook.f.) Trimen & var. zeylanica (India: Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; Sri Lanka)]


  1. Karthikeyan, S., Sanjappa, M. and Moorthy, S. 2009. Flowering Plants of India, Dicotyledons, vol-I (Acanthaceae- Avicenniaceae). Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata. pp. 2227-228.
  2. eFI page

Binomial Habit Notes Ref. Distrib.
(Sims) Sweet
Herb Western Ghats,
Cultivated, Native of Tropical Africa
Matthew, 1999 Dindigul
Emilia javanica (Burm.f.) C. Robinson = Emilia sonchifolia var. javanica (Burm. f.) Mattf. Herb Western
Ghats, Evergreen Forests, Open
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Dindigul, Nilgiri, Theni
Emilia ramulosa Gamble Herb Western
Ghats, Evergreen Forests
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Kanniya kumari, Tirunelveli
Emilia scabra DC. Herb Western
Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Evergreen Forests, Lithophyte
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Dindigul, Kanniya kumari, Namakkal, Nilgiri, Salem, Theni, Tirunelveli
Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC. Strag gling
to Low Altitude, Moist Localities
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Emilia zeylanica Clarke var. paludosa Gamble is a synonym of Emilia zeylanica C.B.Clarke Herb Western
Ghats, Marsh Localities
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Emilia zeylanica Clarke var. zeylanica Herb Western
Ghats, Evergreen Forests
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Dindigul, Tirunelveli


Botanical name Family Common name
Emilia sonchifolia Asteraceae Purple Sow Thistle


Emilia coccinea (Sims) G. Don in Sweet [native to Africa; cultivated worldwide]
Emilia prenanthoidea Candolle [India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam]

Floristic Diversity and Conservation Strategies in India: Angiosperms (selested groups) and ethnobotany by V. Mudgal, P. K. HajraBotanical Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, 2001-
Emilia ramulosa Gamble- Western Ghats
Emilia sonchifolia var. mucronata– Western Ghats
Emilia zeylanica var. paludosa (synonym of Emilia zeylanica C.B.Clarke)- Western Ghats (Swamps) ………………

Floriculture in India By Gurcharan Singh Randhawa, Amitabha Mukhopadhyay (1983)- Details-
Emilia flammea Cass. is a synonym of Emilia coccinea (Sims) G.Don

An Excursion Flora of Central Tamilnadu, India By K. M. Matthew (1995)- Details with keys

Flora of Eastern Ghats: Hill Ranges of South East India, Volume 3 By T. Pullaiah, K. Sri Ramamurthy (2007)- Details with keys
Flora of Davanagere District, Karnataka, India By B. K. Manjunatha, V. Krishna, T. Pullaiah (2004)- Details-
Emilia sonchifolia


Flora of Medak District, Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, Chintala Prabhakar, B. Ravi Prasad Rao (1998)- Details-
Emilia sonchifolia

Flora of Ranga Reddi District Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, M. Silar Mohammed (2000)- Details-
Emilia sonchifolia

Emilia (Asteraceae) : 1 post by 1 author.

I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Emilia (Pl. click).

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

If someone can provide complete list of Indian species with source references it will be wonderful.
Any comments/ corrections are welcome.

Emilia was updated… updated the page

What Karthikeyan, S., Sanjappa, M. and Moorthy, S. 2009 say about Emilia zeylanica Clarke var. zeylanica & Emilia zeylanica var. paludosa ? 

Thanks, … The Plant List does not attempt to include all infraspecific taxa. I feel it is always better to incorporate var. & subspecies if mentioned in our Flora.

I further feel that accepted varieties & subspecies can be mark with bold & others as normal.

Fwd: completed insertion of images of identified species of Emilia : 1 post by 1 author.
1 species was already done by …


Pl. go through Emilia page (Asteraceae (Compositae)) with images of species in efloraofindia (done by Bhagyashri ji & TSP Kumar ji).

If you find any mis-identification, pl. let us know.
If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), it will be really nice. Also, if anybody is interested to take up the activity of inserting images on efloraofindia pages from efloraofindia posts, pl. let us know.