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Cassinia aculeata (Labill.) R.Br.
Family Asteraceae
Common name: Dolly Bush, Common Cassinia, Dogwood

Cassinia aculeata (Labill.) R.Br. APNI*

Description: Erect shrub 1–2.6 m high; trunk and older branches with smooth to lightly stringy light- to dark grey bark, longitudinally fissured on trunk, becoming black and flaky; young twigs green to reddish, densely clothed with a tormentum of 3 hair types, golden globular hairs, fine crisped cottony hairs and stouter spreading multicellular hairs.

Leaves subopposite at base of twigs, alternate above, sessile, linear, variable in size, even on the same plant, 3–50 mm long, 0.7–2.0 wide; margins entire and usually revolute to or obsuring the midrib.

Inflorescence a large convex topped cyme 2–13 cm diameter or several hundred flower heads. Heads creamy white to white (rarely pink in bud, fading to white) 4–5 mm long.

Achenes olive brown, sparcely covered with twin hairs, 0.8–1.0 mm long; pappus in one row, fused at the base with 19–25 barbellate bristles, 2.5–3.5 mm long.


Flower
Photo T.M. Tame

Flowering: Flowers October to January; fruits December to March.

Distribution and occurrence:

Found in a wide range of habitats, and most frequently in the understorey of dry (rarely, wet) eucalypt forest (occasionally in rainforest), from sea level up to c. 1300 m, often as a pioneering shrub after burning, logging or other few native shrubs that can persist in the understorey of Pinus radiata plantations.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, CT, ST, CWS, SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Vic. S.A. Tas.
AVH map***

Plants cause allergic skin reactions in some people.

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Orchard, A.E. (2009) Australian Systematic Botany, 22, 346-347.

 Key to the subspecies 
1Florets 3 or 4; only Northern Tablelands of NSWsubsp. nova-anglica
Florets 5 or 6 or rarely 7; Central and South Coast, Central and Southern Tablelands regions of NSW, Victoria and Tasmaniasubsp. aculeata

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.
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