Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Spermacoce brachystema R.Br. ex Benth.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and flowers. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.
Flowers. © CSIRO
Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Bentham, G. (1867) Flora Australiensis 3: 439. Type: N. Australia. Arnhems Land, F. Mueller; Port Essington, Armstrong. Queensland. E. coast, R. Brown; Port Denison, Fitzalan; Burnett river and Brisbane river, Moreton Bay, F. Mueller; Rockhampton, Thozet, Dallachy.


Annual herb, erect or spreading; up to 20 (-40) cm tall, stems 4-angled.


Leaf blades about 16-24 (-60) x 2-6 mm, scabrid on adaxial surface and on the midvein on the abaxial surface. Stipules interpetiolar, lobed with about 4 (-8) filiform lobes.


capitula present at nearly all the nodes. Calyx lobes green to brown with broad white margins, up to 2 mm long. Corolla shorter than calyx, 1.4-2.8 mm long, papillate, with long erect hairs at mouth of corolla tube, lobes up to 1.2 mm long. Stamens and style included, filaments attached close to the base of the corolla tube.


Capsule ca. 3 mm long including the erect calyx lobes persisting at the apex. Seeds 2.1 x 1.1 mm; testa reddish brown, reticulate-areolate. Embryo white, endosperm oily.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to northern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 820 m. Primarily a woodland species but it also occurs in Eucalypt forest and wooded grassland.

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