Erechtites hieraciifolius

Erechtites hieraciifolius (fireweed, American burnweed, or pilewort) is a plant in the daisy family, Asteraceae. It is native to the Americas,[3] but is found many places around the world having been introduced by human activity.[4] It is introduced in Hawaii, China, and Southeast Asia.[5][6]

Erechtites hieraciifolius
Erechtites hieracifolia2.jpg
Photo taken in Tokyo, Japan
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Erechtites
E. hieraciifolius
Binomial name
Erechtites hieraciifolius
(L.) Raf. ex DC.
  • Erechtites hieracifolius (L.) Raf. ex DC.[1]
  • Erechtites hieraciifolia (L.) Raf. ex DC.[1]
  • Erechtites hieracifolia (L.) Raf. ex DC.[1]
  • Erechtites agrestis (Sw.) Standl. & Steyerm.
  • Erechtites cacalioides (Fisch. ex Spreng.) Less.
  • Erechtites carduifolius (Cass.) DC.
  • Erechtites praealtus Raf.
  • Erechtites sulcata Gardner
  • Gynura aspera Ridl.
  • Gynura malasica (Ridl.) Ridl.
  • Neoceis carduifolia Cass.
  • Senecio carduifolius (Cass.) Desf.
  • Senecio fischeri Sch.Bip.
  • Senecio hieraciifolius L.
  • Senecio hieracifolius L.[1]
  • Gynura zeylanica Trim., syn of var. cacalioides
  • Ptileris hieracifolia (L.) Raf. ex B.D.Jacks., syn of var. cacalioides
  • Senecio cacalioides Fisch. ex Spreng., syn of var. cacalioides
  • Sonchus agrestis Swartz, syn of var. cacalioides
  • Erechtites megalocarpa Fernald, syn of var. megalocarpus


Erechtites hieraciifolius is an annual herb with alternate, simple leaves, on thick, green stems. The leaves are serrated, and range from unlobed to deeply lobed, with the lobe pattern superficially resembling wild lettuces, which are in the same family but not closely related. When crushed, all parts of the species are aromatic. The flower heads are yellow or pink, borne in fall. The heads are followed by cluster of small, wispy achenes. The plant often branches and grows in a clump with multiple stems.[3]


This species benefits from fire, and is often one of the earliest pioneer species of areas that have recently burned, hence some of its common names. It prefers moist sites but can handle gravelly soil and some degree of dry conditions. It also grows well in urban areas and around humans.[3]

The flowers are pollinated primarily by wasps and honey bees Apis mellifera. The seeds are wind-dispersed, and are used as a minor food source by birds.[5]



  1. ^ a b c d International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code) see sections 60C.1 and 60G.1
  2. ^ a b The Plant List, Erechtites hieraciifolius (L.) Raf. ex DC.
  3. ^ a b c "Erechtites hieraciifolius (Linnaeus) Rafinesque ex de Candolle". Flora of North America.
  4. ^ "Erechtites hieraciifolius (L.) Raf. ex DC". Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER).
  5. ^ a b United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile for Erechtites hieraciifolia
  6. ^ Flora of China, 梁子菜 liang zi cai, Erechtites hieraciifolius (Linnaeus) Rafinesque ex Candolle

External linksEdit

  Media related to Erechtites hieraciifolia at Wikimedia Commons