Chhindwara district lies between latitude 21°23' and 22°49' north and longitude 78°10' and 79°24' east. The district is more or less divided into three natural forest regions corresponding to three steps ascending from south to north. Wholely, one can say it a “Forest District”. Patalkot, situated in the hilly block 'Tamia' of Chhindwara District, has acquired great importance because of its Geographical and Scenic beauty. Because of the great depth at which it is located this place is christened as 'Patalkot' ('Patal means very deep, in Sanskrit). Patalkot is spread over an area of 79 Sq.Km. at an average height of 2750-3250 feet above Mean Sea Level. It is a treasure of forest and herbal wealth. There are 12 villages and 13 hamlets in this valley, with a total population of 2012. Because of the inaccessibility of this area, the tribals of this region were totally cut off from the civilized world. Most of the people belong to 'Bharia' and 'Gond' tribes. Patalkot valley of Chhindwara district is situated on the Satpura plateau in the southern central part of the Madhya Pradesh.

Asteraceae is one of the largest family of vascular plants represented by 30,000 species and over 1100 genera all over the world. In India, there are 900 species under 167 genera. Asteraceae dominates other phanerogams in Patalkot valley too. We have reported about 60 species belonging to 44 genera in this region. During the survey, we explored the area of Patalkot valley that included- Gaildubbha, Karayam Rathed, Ghatlinga, Gudichhathri, Karrapani, Tamia Bharia Dhana, Bijauri, Pandu Piparia, Sajkui, Lahgadua, karrapani, Sidhouli. Most of the plants of family Asteraceae occurring in this region have been identified.
The list of the Asteraceae plants has been prepared in alphabetical order.

Acanthospermum hispidum
Ageratum conyzoides
Amberboa ramose
Bidens biternata
Blainvillea acmella
Blumea balsamifera
B. eriantha
B. lacera
B. laciniata
B. mollis
Caesulia axillaries
Carthamus tinctorius
Centipeda minima
Chrysanthemum indicum
Cichorium intybus
Cosmos bipinnatus
C. sulphureus
Cyathocline purpurea
Dahlia pinnata
Echinops echinatus
Eclipta alba
E. prostrate
Elephantopus scaber
Emilia sonchifolia
Erigeron asteroids
Eupatorium triplinerve
Gaillardia pulchella
Galinsoga perviflora
Gnaphalium luteo-album
G. pensylvanicum
G. purpurium
Guizotia abyssinica
Gynura nitida
Helianthus annuus
Lagascea mollis
Launaea nudicaulis
Parthenium hyterophorus
Pentanema indicum
Pulicaria wightiana
Sclerocarpus africanus
Siegesbeckia orientalis
Sonchus arvensis
S. brachyotus
S. oleraceus
Sphaeranthus indicus
Spilanthes acmella
S. calva
S. radicans
Synedrella nodiflora
Tagetes erecta
T. patula
Tithonia diversifolia
Tridax procumbens
Vernonia cinerea
V. divergens
Xanthium strumarium
Zennia elegans

Asteraceae stands as the fourth largest family in India. The present floristic study survey showed that Blumea is represented by the maximum number of species in the area. Sieges beckia is found only in Tamia hills. Most of the genera were represented by only one or two species. Guizotia, Tagetes, Helianthus, and Spilanthes are being cultivated by the local farmers. Other weeds like Parthenium, Xanthium, Vicoa, Cichorium, and Caesulia were found to be frequently.

Acanthospermum, Ageratum, Parthenium, Xanthium, Vicoa, Cichorium and Caesulia are the most common weeds in the fields of Patalkot Valley. Few taxa such as Parthenium hysterophorus, Xanthium strumarium, Tridax procumbens, Ageratum conyzoides and Acanthospermum hispidum dominate practically all the areas and are common weeds. Though, some taxa are weeds but rural and tribal people utilize them as medicines.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Deepak Acharya is Director, Abhumka Herbal Pvt Ltd, India. Visit and for more information.