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Genus Actinotus Family Apiaceae

Description: Herbs, annual or with a perennial root stock.

Leaves ternately divided.

Inflorescence a simple umbel with an involucre of white to slightly coloured, often tomentose or woolly radiating bracts; the inflorescence having the appearance of a 'daisy'. Flowers mixed, the outer often male, others bisexual and/or female; white, cream, green or pink. Sepals lobed or truncate. Petals 5, spathulate or ± circular, or absent. Stylopodium oblong-conical.

Fruit ovate to circular, compressed; carpophore absent; mericarp single, 5-ribbed.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 15 species, Australia & New Zealand. Australia: 15 species (14 species endemic), all states except S.A.

Text by J. M. Powell, except for genera with authors listed
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Erect slender herb; involucre of umbel 2.5–8 cm diamActinotus helianthi
Diffuse herb with wiry stems; involucre of umbel less than 3 cm diam2
2Peduncles mostly more than 3.5 cm long3
Peduncles less than 1 cm long
                       Back to 1
4
3Leaves more or less glabrous; involucre more than 16 mm diam.; petals present on outer flowersActinotus forsythii
Leaves white-tomentose below; involucre less than 15 mm diam.; petals absent
                       Back to 2
Actinotus minor
4Leaves plumose-hairy, often stem-clasping; fruit 1.9–2.7 mm longActinotus paddisonii
Leaves glabrous or with scattered hairs, not stem-clasping; fruit 1–1.8 mm long
                       Back to 2
Actinotus gibbonsii

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