Acanthospermum australe (Loefling) Kuntze - Spiny-Bur

Acanthospermum australe plant

Family - Asteraceae




Acanthospermum australe leaves





Ray flowers:


Disk flowers:

Acanthospermum australe flowersFlowers and involucre close-up.

Acanthospermum australe fruitsFruits.

Flowering - May - November.

Habitat - Waste ground, fields, roadsides, disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to tropical America.

Other information - This weedy little species can be found mainly in southern Alabama. It is probably more abundant than has been reported and can most likely be found in every southern county of the state. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its mostly creeping habit, opposite leaves, and bur-like fruits. The fruits are actually an expanded inner involucre with each of the phyllaries enclosing an achene. The hooked prickles stick to fabric and hair and are easily distributed.
The genus name Acanthospermum derives from the Greek "acanth(a)" meaning "spine, thorn" and "sperm(a)" meaning "seed" referring to the fruits.
The species epithet "australe" derives from the Latin "austr" meaning "southern."

Alabama Distribution:

Acanthospermum australe map

Photographs taken off CR 59, Macon County, AL., 9-24-04.

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