Common name: Saffron Thistle
Carthamus lanatus L. APNI*
Description: Annual herb to 1 m high; stem usually sparsely septate-hairy, cobwebby and glandular, striate.
Basal leaves and lower cauline leaves oblanceolate, ± pinnatisect, lobes spinose; cauline leaves sessile, lanceolate, 3–6 cm long; glabrous to sparsely septate-hairy, glandular.
Heads 10–20 mm diam.; outer involucral bracts leaf-like, spreading to deflexed, often cobwebby; inner bracts entire, lanceolate to oblong, erect, glandular, with a small spiny appendage. Corollas yellow to cream with dark veins.
Achenes 5–6 mm long; pappus linear, acute, to 7–10 mm long.
Flowering: mainly November–December
Distribution and occurrence: Weed in pasture and woodland, mostly growing in cultivated crops. Native of Eur.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A. *N.T.
A declared noxious weed in some shires.
Text by L. Murray
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.