Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Senecio bipinnatisectus Belcher

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Habit, leaves, flowers and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Belcher, R.O. (1956) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 43: 41. Type: Based on Erechtites atkinsoniae.

Common name

Commonwealth Weed


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-3 m tall.


Leaf blades intricately divided and dissected, petioles very short. Both the upper and lower surfaces clothed in short +/- erect hairs. Reduced leaves resembling stipules, present near the base of each petiole. Leaf blades about 3-10 x 1-6 cm.


Inflorescence a cyme of heads. Corolla tube slender, about 10 mm long, corolla lobes about 0.25 mm long. Anthers +/- fused to form a tube, filaments free. Pollen yellow.


Pappus persistent, about 7-12 mm long. Achene about 1.5 mm long.


Cotyledons ovate to elliptic, about 5-8 x 2-6 mm. First leaf with a toothed margin, second leaf with a margin which is toothed or lobed. Third and subsequent leaves pinnatifid or pinnatisect. At the tenth leaf stage: white hairs present on the undersurface of the leaf and petiole. Reduced linear leaves, which resemble stipules, present at the base of each petiole. Leaves deeply lobed and toothed. Petiole grooved on the upper surface. Seed germination time 14 to 21 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, and in south-eastern Queensland and southwards to south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 700-900 m. Grows in clearings and along roads in upland rain forest.

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