Pluchea odorata

From Coastal Plain Plants Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Pluchea odorata
FL 7847.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Pluchea
Species: P. odorata
Binomial name
Pluchea odorata
(L.) Cass.
Pluc odor dist.jpg
Natural range of Pluchea odorata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Sweetscent, Saltmarsh fleabane

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: P. purpurascens (Swartz) A.P. de Candolle var. purpurascens; P. purpurascens (Swartz) A.P. de Candolle var. succulenta Fernald; P. purpurascens (Swartz) A.P. de Candolle


A description of Pluchea odorata is provided in The Flora of North America.


It is distributed from southern Maine south to Florida, west to Texas and beyond, it is a largely coastal species.[1] It is an exotic weed in Hawaii, and is considered to be a serious problem.[2]



Pluchea odorata can be found in salt marshes, mangrove swamps, river banks, cypress swamps, marl prairies, cabbage palmetto-water hickory hammocks, pine flatwoods, coastal hammocks, and hickory mounds. It has also been found in disturbed areas such as calcareous borrow pits, roadside depressions, clear-cut pine flatwoods and drainage canals. Soil types include loamy sand, loam, and alluvial soils. Associated species include Cyperus, Juncus, Fuirena, Rhynchospora, Penthorum sedoides, Pluchea foetida, Boehmeria, Saururus, Pilea, and Murdannia keisak.[3]


It has been observed flowering April through December.[3] It exhibits crystallofolia, which is an unusual feathery or ribbon like ice formation that appears on a plant during frost events when water is emitted along the steam during freezing.[4]

Seed dispersal

Seeds are dispersed by wind.[2]

Seed bank and germination

Seeds may require wet, bare soils to germinate.[5]


Pluchea odorata has been observed at the Archbold Biological Station to host bees from the Apidae family such as Mellisodes communis, sweat bees from the Halictidae family such as Halictus poeyi and Lasioglossum nymphalis, leafcutting bees from the Megachilidae family such as Anthidium maculifrons, Coelioxys germana, C. sayi and Dianthidium floridiense, thread-waisted wasps from the Sphecidae family such as Ammophila procera, and wasps from the Vespidae family such as Leptochilus republicanus and Zeta argellaceum.[6] Additionally, P. odorata has been observed to host ground-nesting bees from the Andrenidae family such as Perdita octomaculata, bees from the Apidae family such as Bombus sp., Ceratina sp., Epeolus sp., Melissodes bimaculata and Xylocopa virginica, plasterer bees from the Colletidae family such as Colletes sp. and Hylaeus sp., sweat bees from the Halictidae family such as Agapostemon sp., Augochlora sp., Augochlorella sp., Halictus sp., Lasioglossum oceanicum, L. pilosum and L. zephyrum, and leafcutting bees from the Megachilidae family such as Megachile gemula, M. latimanus and M. mendica.[7]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

P. odorata is an exotic weed in Hawaii, and is considered to be a serious problem. In attempt to control it, the flowerhead fly Acinia picturata was introduced in 1959 from Mexico.[2] The larvae feed on the seedheads of P. odorata. They occur more frequently in the immature flowers or buds than the older mature seedheads.[8]

Cultural use

In the Caribbean countries, the leaves are used to make a tea that stimulates perspiration and urination.[9] It is also used to treat inflammation disorders.[10]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. [[1]] Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Accessed: February 21, 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Alyokhin, A. V., R. H. Messing, et al. (2001). "Utilization of the Exotic Weed Pluchea odorata (Asteraceae) and Related Plants by the Introduced Biological Control Agent Acinia picturata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Hawaii." Biocontrol Science and Technology 11(6): 703-710.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, L. Baltzell, Jane Brockmann, D. Burch, N. Chevalier, William J. Clark, G. Crosby, Delzie Demaree, R.F. Doren, G. Fleming, P. Genelle, Robert K. Godfrey, Norlan C. Henderson, C. Jackson, R. Komarek, O. Lakela, Robert L. Lazor, Robert J. Lemaire, R. Kral, Sidney McDaniel, Richard S. Mitchell, John Morrill, Jackie Patman, R.A. Norris, James D. Ray, Grady W. Reinert, Danielle Sherdan, Cecil R. Slaughter, Sydney Thompson, D.B. Ward, S.S. Ward. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Brevard, Broward, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Dixie, Flagler, Franklin, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Manatee, Monroe, Marion, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Putnam, St. Lucie, Taylor, Wakulla. Countries: Belize, Cayman Islands. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  4. [[2]]Go Botany. Accessed: February 21, 2016
  5. [[3]]Rio Delta Wild. Accessed: February 21, 2016
  6. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  7. [4]
  8. Stegmaier, C. E. (1967). "Pluchea odorata, a New Host Record for Acinia picturata (Diptera, Tephritidae)." The Florida Entomologist 50(1): 53-55.
  9. [[5]]Mother Nature's Backyard. Accessed: February 21, 2016
  10. Blaschke, M., R. McKinnon, et al. (2015). "A eudesmane-type sesquiterpene isolated from Pluchea odorata (L.) Cass. combats three hallmarks of cancer cells: Unrestricted proliferation, escape from apoptosis and early metastatic outgrowth in vitro." Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 777: 79-90.