Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC.

Etymology Genus Probably a commemorative for the name Emily
Species Having leaves (folia) like those in the Sonchus (sonchi) genus
Family Asteraceae
Synonyms Gynura ecalyculata DC.
Common Names Cupid's Shaving Brush
Status Undetermined
Form Herb
Native Distribution Eastern and southern Asia


Emilia sonchifolia is a very common weed in manicured grasslands. The best way to identify it is to look for its distinctive flower head, which consist of a long green vase-shaped bracts topped by a tint of pink flower clusters. It shares the same habitat with and appear similar to Cyanthillium cinereum but the latter has purple flower heads mounted on short bracts.

Interesting Facts:

The leaves are very variable (Henderson, 1959). The lower leaves are normally triangular or pinnately-lobed with a stalk, while the upper leaves are arrow-shaped and narrower.

The Cupid's Shaving Brush is now a widely naturalised plant distributed pantropically.

Form of the Cupid's Shaving Brush on a lawn patch.

Long vase-shaped flower bracts.

The flower cluster close-up.

A leaf form that is toothed and arrow-shaped.

A leaf form that is pinnately-lobed.


Henderson MR. (1959) Malayan Wild Flowers: Dicotyledons. Malayan Nature Society, Kulau Lumpar, Malaysia. 478 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-02-24 / Modified: 2019-08-27