Kochia scoparia L Schrader

[After Wilhelm Daniel Josef Koch, (1771-1849), German doctor and professor of botany and from Latin, scoparius = broom-like]

Physical description: It is a very dense, cypress-like bush which grows in the geographical zones spanning Central Asia and Japan. The stems are yellowish, glabrous, terete and ribbed. Leaves: simple, spiral, sessile, and without stipules. The blade is linear, glabrous, and small. The margin is entire.

Common names: Summer cypress, fire weed; fireball, Mexican firewood, tifu (Chinese).

The blade shows a single pair of secondary nerves visible from below only. The flowers are small and yellow (Fig. 61).

Uses: In China and Japan, the seeds of Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrader are eaten to promote urination, to invigorate health, and to treat scurvy, impo-tency, gonorrhea and kidney problems. A decoction of Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrader is drunk to counteract putrefaction and to promote urination. The aerial parts are used to treat digestive disorders.

Fig. 61. Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrader. From: KLU Herbarium 22097. Field Collector: G Murata. Geographical localization: Honshu, Pref. Hyogo: Oshio, Himeji-shi, seaside, Japan, 31 Oct 1971.

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