Common name: Maltese Cockspur, Cockspur Thistle, Saucy Jack
Centaurea melitensis L. APNI*
Description: Annual up to 1 m high; stems branched, winged in upper portion, pubescent.
Lower leaves lanceolate, pinnatifid, lyrate, to 4–14 cm long, 1–6 cm wide, finely pubescent to scabrous; cauline leaves lanceolate, decurrent, entire to toothed, 1–7 cm long, 3–5 mm wide.
Heads solitary or in groups of 2 or 3, ovoid-globose, 8–12 mm diam.; involucral bracts lanceolate, pale green, outer bracts cobwebby, with short recurved appendages; appendages with a terminal spine and 1–3 pairs of short lateral spines on each side. Florets yellow, the outer slightly spreading; corolla glandular.
Achenes 2.5 mm, pubescent; pappus 2.5 mm.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread weed of disturbed areas, pastures, roadsides, stock routes, and occasionally cultivated land. Native of Eur.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP, *SFWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A.
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.