The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links

cupid's shaving brush, lilac tasselflower

pualele, tasselflower

Habit Plants 20–80 cm, glabrous or ± villous. Annuals (sometimes persisting, usually monocarpic) [perennials], mostly 20–100 cm (taprooted; often glaucous).

1, erect or somewhat lax, simple or branched.

usually 1, erect or lax (branched throughout or distally).


mostly in proximal 1/2; usually petiolate;

blades ovate to obovate or oblanceolate, mostly 5–12 × 1.5–4.5 cm (distal smaller, bractlike), margins often deeply lobed to lyrate-pinnatifid.

mostly cauline; alternate; petiolate or sessile (bases usually auriculate, clasping);

blades pinnately nerved, mostly ovate to obovate or oblanceolate [lanceolate] (sometimes pinnately lobed, sometimes lyrate-pinnatifid), ultimate margins entire or toothed, faces usually glabrous, sometimes villous or ± arachnose.


urceolate to campanulate, 9–12 mm, relatively slender, lengths mostly 3–4 times diams.

urceolate to campanulate or cylindric, mostly 2–8+ mm diam.


flat to convex, smooth or obscurely foveolate, epaleate.


15–30[–40], surpassing involucres by 0–1(–2) mm;

corollas usually lavender, pinkish, or purplish, rarely reddish, lobes 0.5–0.7[–1.5] mm;

style appendages 0–0.1 mm.

Ray florets


Disc florets

20–50[100+], all bisexual and fertile or inner functionally staminate;

corollas usually pinkish, lavender, or purplish, rarely reddish [orange, white, yellow], tubes shorter than to equaling funnelform to cylindric throats, lobes 5, erect to spreading, lance-ovate;

style branches stigmatic in 2 lines, apices truncate or truncate-penicillate (appendages essentially 0).


usually 8.

persistent, usually 8 or 13 in 1–2 series, erect (reflexed in fruit), distinct (margins interlocking and coherent early), mostly linear to oblong, equal, margins scarious (glabrous or villous, apices usually green or slightly darkened, seldom blackish).




discoid, in cymiform or corymbiform arrays.


(stramineous to brown) fusiform-prismatic, 5-ribbed, glabrous but for stout, blunt hairs on ribs;

pappi fragile, of 80–100+, white, barbellulate bristles.


= 5.


= 10.

Emilia sonchifolia


Phenology Flowering probably year round, mostly Oct–Mar.
Habitat Disturbed sites, old fields, roadsides
Elevation 0–100 m (0–300 ft)
from FNA
FL; GA; SC; Asia [Introduced in North America; also introduced in New World tropics]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from USDA
chiefly Old World tropics; some weedy in New World tropics [Introduced in North America]
[BONAP county map]

Emilia sonchifolia is a pantropical weed of Asiatic origin and should be expected as an occasional escape in the flora. D. H. Nicolson (1980) treated the eastern Asian representatives of E. sonchifolia, which have corolla lobes 1.1–1.5 mm, as E. sonchifolia var. javanica (Burman f.) Mattfeld. In the flora, plants of E. sonchifolia have corolla lobes 0.5–0.8 mm and are treated as var. sonchifolia. See Nicolson (p. 398) for discussion of nomenclatural attribution.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Species 50–100 (2 in the flora).

D. H. Nicolson (1980) pointed out that Emilia is taxonomically complicated with poorly defined, weedy species and an involved nomenclatural history. Emilia coccinea (Sims) G. Don is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental; it is not known to escape and persist in the flora. It keys here to E. fosbergii, from which it differs in having involucres 6–9 mm (lengths typically 1.5 times diameters). In cultivation, it has bright red to dark orange corollas. Nicolson provided drawings that illustrate the distinctions.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Leaves mostly in proximal 1/2, usually petiolate, blades ovate to obovate or oblanceolate, mostly 5–12 × 1.5–4.5 cm, margins often deeply lobed to lyrate-pinnatifid; involucres mostly urceolate to campanulate, relatively slender, lengths mostly 3–4 times diams.; florets 15–30[–40]
E. sonchifolia
1. Leaves ± equally distributed, sessile and auriculate to winged-petiolate and clasping, blades oblanceolate to pandurate, mostly 5–10 × 3–5 cm, margins entire, toothed, or weakly lobed; involucres mostly campanulate to cylindric, relatively thick, lengths 1.5–2(–3) times diams.; florets usually 50–60+
E. fosbergii
Source FNA vol. 20, p. 606. FNA vol. 20, p. 605. Author: Theodore M. Barkley†.
Parent taxa Asteraceae > tribe Senecioneae > Emilia Asteraceae > tribe Senecioneae
Sibling taxa
E. fosbergii
Subordinate taxa
E. fosbergii, E. sonchifolia
Synonyms Cacalia sonchifolia
Name authority (Linnaeus) de Candolle: in R. Wight, Contr. Bot. India, 24. (1834) Cassini: Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 1817: 68. (1817)
Web links