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Genus Craspedia Family Asteraceae

Description: Annual and perennial herbs usually with a basal rosette; roots many, thick woolly and spreading or with a taproot.

Leaves alternate, in a basal rosette and sometimes cauline, margins entire, mostly stem-clasping, decreasing in size up stems.

Inflorescence a globose or hemispherical compound head on a scape; compound head of 20–125 stalked or sessile partial heads on a globose or conical general receptacle, common involucre of bracts usually similar to uppermost leaves; partial heads each subtended by a ± herbaceous bract and with 5–10 colourless involucral bracts, each partial head with 4–12 florets on a common receptacle; florets subtended by a scale similar to the bracts of the partial head, florets tubular, bisexual, 5-merous. Anthers tailed at the base with triangular apical appendages. Style branches flattened, linear-oblong, truncate, papillose with fimbriate apices.

Achenes obovoid, silky with bifid hairs; pappus a single ring of colourless plumose pappus bristles, fused for varying lengths at base.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: 21–43 species, New Zealand, Australia. Australia: 13 species (endemic), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.

C. species G in Jacobs & Pickard (1981) [C. species B in Thompson (1981) and C. species B in Costin et al. (1979)] is now regarded as representing hybrids of various alpine species.

Text by J. Everett & A. N. L. Doust
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Florets white2
Florets yellow or orange3
2Leaves broad, more than 5 mm wide, green and glabrous except for occasional hairs on marginsCraspedia leucantha
Leaves narrow, less than 5 mm wide, covered with long fine hairs
                       Back to 1
Craspedia alba
3Leaves covered in long fine loose silvery hairs, occasionally with small glandular hairs, but never with long coarse multiseptate hairs4
Leaves and lower part of scape covered in long coarse multiseptate hairs, occasionally with scattered minute glandular hairs and/or long fine hairs on the margins, rarely glabrous
                       Back to 1
6
4Scapes woolly with long fine hairs; heads usually more than 2 cm diam.; leaves white, very thickly covered with long fine tangled hairs; usually alpineCraspedia maxgrayi
Scapes glabrescent; heads less than 2 cm diam.; leaves silvery grey or grey-green, covered in long fine hairs or glabrescent on the upper surface; not alpine
                       Back to 3
5
5Leaves long-attenuate at the base, usually silvery grey with a dense covering of long fine hairs; lower subalpine speciesCraspedia coolaminica
Leaves not long-attenuate at the base, grey-green the upper surface often glabrescent; coastal to montane species
                       Back to 4
Craspedia canens
6Florets orange7
Florets yellow
                       Back to 3
8
7Leaves often long-attenuate at the base, with the base of the plant purple; heads usually 10–15 mm diamCraspedia crocata
Leaves not long-attenuate at the base or if so then the base of the plant not purple; heads usually c. 20 mm or more diam
                       Back to 6
Craspedia aurantia
8Leaves more than 15 cm long, oblong, blackish green, glabrous or occasionally with a few hairs; base of leaves c. 10 mm wide, often reddishCraspedia paludicola
Leaves less than 15 cm long, spathulate to linear-ovate, not blackish green, hairy; base of leaves usually less than 5 mm wide, rarely reddish
                       Back to 6
9
9Apex of scape conspicuously covered with long fine hairs10
Apex of scape not conspicuously covered in long fine hairs, or, if long fine hairs present, then head hemispherical
                       Back to 8
11
10Rosette spreading and pale green; leaves conspicuously pubescent with long multi-septate hairs terminating in long fine apicesCraspedia costiniana
Rosette erect and green; leaves not conspicuously hairy except on the margins
                       Back to 9
Craspedia lamicola
11General bract narrow-ovate with narrow scarious margins; main bract of the partial involucre with a narrow band of scarious margins evenly distributed around the herbaceous central region; heads hemisphericalCraspedia jamesii
General bract broad-ovate with broad scarious margins; main bract of the partial involucre with scarious margins and a distinct elongated scarious tip; head ovoid to globose
                       Back to 9
12
12A single taproot present; peduncles long; heads loose so that partial heads easily distinguishable when in flowerCraspedia haplorrhiza
Many equal thick spreading roots present; peduncles short; heads tight so that partial heads not easily distinguishable when in flower
                       Back to 11
Craspedia variabilis

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