- Scientific name: Gynura sechellensis
- Family: Asteraceae (aster)
Perennial herb up to 2m tall. Completely hairless on stem, leaves and flowers. Stem, although woody at base, herbaceous and angular in cross section. Leaves spirally arranged with distinct leaf stalks (petioles). Flowers composed of several similar parts (composite), borne in loosely packed heads of 20 to 25, bright orange in colour. Seeds wind spread, a rather uncommon phenomenon in small tropical island ecosystems.
- The zakobe is a medicinal herb used in the Seychelles to treat colds and coughs by boiling the old leaves and drinking the infused juice.
Where it grows
Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. Restricted to the islands of Mahé and Silhouette, where it is known from several subpopulations. Grows in shady, humid places among rocks and stones and in shady river beds. Found from sea-level up to 200m, more frequently occurring in more open sites at the higher elevations.
The zakobe is listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- Perennial: lives for at least two years.
- Herb: plant with fleshy parts rather than a persistent woody stem above ground.
- Herbaceous: has the characteristics of a herb.