Common Name: Mexican sunflower. Tamil Name: Marasuryakandhi
Mexican sunflower is a shrub size plant native to South America; it grows to a height of around 2 meters. The younger shoots are square, they gradually become round in shape, the stem is also seen ridged. The leaf petiole is 6 cm in length the upper side of the leaf is dark green while the lower surface of leaf is pale green color. The nerves at the lower side of leaf are prominently exposed. The simple leafs are arranged in alternate spiral manner, they measure 15.5 cm in length and are 14 cm broad. The leaf shape is ovate, consisting of about 3-5 lobes, the leaf margin in dentate. The leaf-lobe tips are acute. Flower heads are large, each around 14.5 cm across. On the base of the flower head have four sets of bracts which are green in color and have an oval shape. The petals are yellow in color; the ray florets petals measure around 4.5 cm. The individual flowers are tubular in shape. The fruit is in the form of an achene and seeds are wind dispersed. This plant is highly invasive in India, especially in areas around Western Ghats. They are found at all altitudes in peninsular India. They thrive from sea level up to 2000 msl. Mexican sunflower can be commonly sighted in Valparai, Kodaikanal and Nilgiri ghat roads. This plant is highly invasive and should be removed.