Tridax procumbens L.

Etymology Genus Three toothed, referring to the structure of its ray florets
Species To prostrate, referring to the herbaceous habit
Family Asteraceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Coat Button, Tridax Daisy
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Herb
Native Distribution Tropical America

Diagnostics:

Because it flowers frequently, the white and yellow flowers of the Coat Button are quite eye-catching. Vegetatively, the opposite leaves have margins that are serrated, and one or two of the teeth are slightly more pronounced near the base.


Interesting Facts:

This is a very common sun-loving weed found all over manicured grasslands in Singapore. It was formerly introduced from Central America as an ornamental plant (Foo, 2002), but has naturalised since. This is the same in many tropical and subtropical countries, where it is widely regarded as an invasive species (PIER, 2002). The success is likely because of the abundance of pollinators like butterflies, moths, bees, and etc., the numerous fruits produced by each composite flower, as well as their effective dispersal by wind.


The Coat Button is a common weed on lawns.

Serrated margins of leaves. Note that one or two teeth are more pronounced.

The ray florets in white are 3-toothed, thus the genus Tridax.

Fruits are armed with feathery wings for wind-dispersal.

Individual feathery fruits (right) holding the seed at the ends.

A honey bee collecting pollen.


References

Foo TS. (2002) A Guide to the Wildflowers of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre, Singapore. 160 pp.
PIER (2002) Tridax procumbens. Pacific Island Ecosystem at Risk (PIER), Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. http://www.hear.org/pier/. Accessed on 19-Nov-2012.


Author: Jake
Posted Date: 2012-11-17 / Modified Date: 2015-01-11