Mexican Sunflower

Mexican Sunflower, Tithonia, photo © Michael Plagens

Large yellow-orange composite, but smaller than cultivated sunflower. Leaves variously three-lobed. Mostly herbaceous up to two meters tall. Garden favorite.

More Information ...

Aspilia

a coreopsid sunflower photo © Michael Plagens

Composite with bright yellow notched rays, darker disc florets and few broad phyllaries. Common in crop fields after harvest.

More Information ...

Aspilia #2

Aspilia sp. photo © Michael Plagens

Lower growing than previous, 3-5 dm. Leaves shorter, elliptic to triangular.

More Information ...

Yellow Composite

Low-growing composite with yellow flowers, Nairobi, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Bright yellow rays are toothed at the tip. Plant growing prostrate thus avoiding grazing animals.

More Information ...

African Bush Daisy

African Bush Daisy, Euryops chrysanthemoides, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Bright yellow rays and bright yellow disc florets. Leaves are deeply, pinnately cleft into lance-shaped segments. Grows as an evergreen suffrutescent shrub.

More Information ...

Low-Growing Aster

low growing yellow aster photo © Michael Plagens

Under grazing pressure this one grows very close to ground. Two + series of phyllaries with very long, slender, reddish tips. Seeds with many white awns.

More Information ...

Osteospermum

Osteospermum, photo © Michael Plagens

Heads become pendulous as ray flower seeds enlarge and broad wings develops on the achenes.

More Information ...

Fan-leaf #1

Asteraceae, photo © Michael Plagens

Small yellow composite from wooded area understory. Phyllaries smooth and nearly fused.

More Information ...

Fan-leaf #2

Asteraceae, photo © Michael Plagens

Very similar to #1 but leaves and stems with fine hairs and the head is shaped differently. Taita Hills.

More Information ...

Berkheya

Berkheya spekeana photo © Michael Plagens

Leaves and involucre with sharp prickles. Many, long, narrow, yellow ray flowers.

More Information ...

Prickly Sow Thistle

sow thistle in highland areas of Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Yellow heads of entirely strap-shaped florets. Heads closed up in this view. Leaves prickly and white sap from breaks.

More Information ...

Dandelion

Taraxacum species photo © Michael Plagens

Heads are composed entirely of yellow, strap-shaped floret. Leaves all basal. Seeds with plumose bristles.

More Information ...

Composite Vine

vine or climbing shrub, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

The leaves with their recurved lobes serve as grappling hooks as the plant climbs over other plants vine-like. Heads yellow, rayless

More Information ...

Yellow Cudweed

Gnaphalieae, Asteraceae from Machakos, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

The leaves and stems covered with cottony hairs. Heads yellow, rayless. Low herbaceous stems in cluster.

More Information ...

Golden Everlasting

a ubiquitous aster weed in gardens of Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

This Helichrysum (?) composite was found growing on the Elgeyo Escarpment near Iten, Kenya. The leaves and stems appear silvery white due to a cover of short pubescence. About 1½ m tall.

More Information ...

Conyza stricta?

a unknown species of weedy aster in pastures of Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Numerous small, cream/yellow heads clustered at top of mostly herbaceous plant. Disc flowers yellowish and short papery white ray flowers. Involucre pubescent.

More Information ...

Conyza schimperi ?

composite with finely divided leaves and small cream discoid heads, photo © Michael Plagens

The gray-green leaves are dissected into nearly linear segments. The heads are small, densely clustered at top and have only discs florets.

More Information ...

Conyza newii ?

Bright yellow fleabane, Conyza newii, in Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Numerous bright yellow ray-less heads. Lance shaped leaves are irregularly toothed. Suffrutescent.

More Information ...

Goldenrod or Groundsel

A rayless composite with numerous small yellow heads, photo © Michael Plagens

Composite with yellow disc florets and no rays on many small heads. Smooth, elliptic leaves with distinct serrations.

More Information ...

Senecio

most likely Senecio sp, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Slender flower heads with one series of phyllaries. Bright yellow florets followed by seeds with white fluff tops. Mostly herbaceous, 1m tall.

More Information ...

Senecio # 2

Senecio sp from Eldoret, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Herbaceous, weedy ragwort of moist soil. Rayless heads are enlarged below. Seeds with long, silky pappus.

More Information ...

Malta Star Thistle

Malta Star Thistle, Centaura melitensis, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Yellow florets emerge from the top of the spherical head which is well-armed. Weed in grazing areas and farms.

More Information ...

False Threadleaf

also called Dwarf Marigold, Schkuhria pinnata from Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Another import from the New World. Small yellow-orange heads on herbaceous weed with finely dissected leaves.

More Information ...

Wild Lettuce

a weedy relative of lettuce, Lactuca sp., photo © Michael Plagens

Milky juice emerges from broken stems like farm lettuce. Pale yellow florets on tall wiry stems.

More Information ...

Spanish Needles

Spanish Needles, Bidens pilosa photo © Michael Plagens

Composite with white rays and yellow disc florets. Seeds with two barbed spurs. Common non-native weed in gardens.

More Information ...

Tarchonanthus (?)

Might be Tarchonanthus from Turbo, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Tree-sized member of sunflower family. Flowers white, in ray-less heads. Leaves elliptic and leathery.

More Information ...

Coat Buttons

a cosmopolitan weed from Nairobi, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

This herbaceous plant in the Asteraceae was found growing in Nairobi. Short white rays, yellow disc and plumose hairs atop seeds.

More Information ...

Stinking Roger

Tagetes minuta, an introduced weedy aster in pastures of Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Tall slender heads with a few white rays and yellow discs. Leaves compound and with resin glands.

More Information ...

Wavy-Leaf Fleabane

a ubiquitous aster weed in gardens of Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Composite with non-showy flowers in many small heads. Seeds soon shed with fuzzy top for wind dispersal. Soft hairs cover the leaves.

More Information ...

Parthenium

an exotic invasive composite, Parthenium hysterophorus, photo © Michael Plagens

Numerous small convex heads of white florets set atop an herbaceous weed about 1 m tall.

More Information ...

Shrubby Composite

composite with many small pendulous heads, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Unknown species with numerous small heads in pendulous spikes. Leaves pinnately lobed. Tall shrub.

More Information ...

Laggera

Laggera crispata, Inuleae, photo © Michael Plagens

Clusters of small pale lavender heads. Leaf blades continue down sides of stems making them look winged.

More Information ...

Billy-Goat Weed

Billy-Goat Weed, Ageratum conyzoides, photo © Michael Plagens

Blue-violet heads of disc flowers. Leaves are deltoid with toothed margins. Common in gardens and hedgerows.

More Information ...

Vernonia #1

Unknown Eupatorieae from Mombasa, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

This Vernonia-like composite was found in a fresh water marshy area near Mombasa. The flowers are pale lavender.

More Information ...

Vernonia #3

a pale purple and white Vernona from South Nandi, Asteraceae, photo © Michael Plagens

All tubular flowers in heads are mostly white, tinged with purple. Broadly lanceolate to elliptic, serrated leaves. Mostly herbaceous.

More Information ...

Vernonia #2

lavender-flowered composite observed at Iten, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Numerous, small heads of bright lavender-purple flowers are displayed in flat-topped panicles.

More Information ...

Vernonia

Vernonia sp. photo © Michael Plagens

Large dia. heads with fine, white, bristle-topped seeds. Ridged stems. Rust-colored pubescence. Lance-shaped, serrated leaves.

More Information ...

White Vernonia

a white-flowered Vernonia-like Asteraceae, photo © Michael Plagens

Shrubby, leafy plant about 1.5 meters tall. Numerous small white flower heads followed by abundance of comose seeds.

More Information ...

Vernonia

very pubescent Vernonia from Eldoret, photo © Michael Plagens

Many branching shrub or perennial with purple, pubescent phyllaries. Tubular disc flowers are lavender. Leaves alternate, serrate.

More Information ...

Eared Vernonia

Eared Vernonia, Gymnanthemum myrianthum, photo © Michael Plagens

Large shrub, occasionally tree-form with large clusters of purple/lavender flower heads. Leaf bases lobed. partly around the stem.

More Information ...

Ironweed

Ironweed, Vernonia galamensis, photo © Michael Plagens

Nearly linear leaves are dark green and have a wrinkled texture. Seeds topped with light brown awns.

More Information ...

Trailing Composite

prostrate trailing Asteraceae observed in Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

In an area of heavy grazing pressure this plant grows vine-like close to the ground.

More Information ...

Spear Thistle

Spear Thistle, Cirsium vulgare, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Sharp spines guard the leaves and flower heads. Flowers are showy lavender-purple. Weed in grazing areas and farms.

More Information ...

Rosette Thistle

Rosette Thistle, Carduus chamaecephalus, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

All leaves and even the large spiny flower heads grow close to the ground. The florets are pale lavender to purple. Seeds with long silky hairs.

More Information ...

Globe Thistle

a Head of Heads, Sphaeranthus photo © Michael Plagens

Nearly spherical clusters of very small flower heads. Stems leafy wings. Ill-scented.

More Information ...

Odorous Senecio

a succulent, malodorus, Senecioneae, photo © Michael Plagens

Forms thickets of green, succulent stems. Flowers are cream-yellow and produce seeds with long awn-plumes.

More Information ...

Pink Ragwort

a pink-flowered ragwort, Senecioneae, photo © Michael Plagens

This weed with drooping flower heads is widespread in highland agricultural areas as near Kitale and Nandi. Seeds are topped with fine, capillary bristles.

More Information ...

Orange Ragwort

a orange-flowered ragwort, Crassocephalum vitellinum, photo © Michael Plagens

The leaves, stems and inflorescence are all fairly well clothed in soft hairs. Herbaceous, about 1m tall, in moist, partial shade.

More Information ...

Kleinia

Striking red-flowered composite observed in Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

A single series of waxy-smooth phyllaries subtend the long, 5-lobed disc flowers. Partially succulent.

More Information ...

Star Burrs

Star Burr, Acanthospermum, photo © Michael Plagens

Obscure, green-white flower heads give rise to clusters of burrs with hooked spines.

More Information ...

Silver Oak

Silver Oak, Brachylaena huillensis, photo © Michael Plagens

Tall forest tree with leaves silvery below and clusters of many small cream-colored flower heads.

More Information ...


Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 24 July 2012
updated 12 Oct. 2017.

Disclaimer: By no means am I an expert on the Natural History of Kenya. I am new to exploring this wonderful part of the World. By creating a page for the species as I learn, or even while I'm still unsure, them I am teaching myself. If I make errors I hope that a kind person will let me know so that I can make corrections.