Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Acanthospermum hispidum DC.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Flower and leaves. ©
Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Candolle, A.P. de (1836) Prodromus 5: 522. Type: in Brasiliae sabulosis maritimis circa Bahiam legit cl. Salzman.

Common name



Erect herb 30-60 cm tall, dichotomously branched with subangular stems, variously hairy and 4-6 mm diam.


Leaves sessile, elliptical, gradually attenuate at base, obtuse and mucronate at apex, chartaceous, sparsely hispid-pilose, sparsely glandular below1.5-4.5 x 0.5-2.5 cm.


Solitary heads in axils of leaves, subsessile; phyllaries 5, oblongacute at the apex, hispid-pilose on margin, membraneous; marginal flowers 5-8, ligule of corolla elliptical with 3 teeth at apex, sparsely hispid-pilose ca. 1.5 mm long, style lanceolate, obtuse. Disc flowers ca. 7, corolla hispid-pilose ca. 1.5 mm long, lobes fairly long, ovaries glandular; pales of receptacle membranous, lacerate and acuminate at the upper part.


Achenes angular, cuneate, compressed, densely uncinate-hispid, 4-5 mm long, with 2 more or less straight 3-5 mm long prickles at the apex.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. A weed of disturbed places originally from South America but now widely distributed in northern and eastern Australia. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 700 m. Grows in disturbed places in open Eucalypt forest, vine forest and disturbed places in many other types of vegetation.

Natural History & Notes

Aggressive weed of cultivation.

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