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Eryngium ovinum A.Cunn.
Family Apiaceae
Common name: Blue devil

Eryngium ovinum A.Cunn. APNI*

Description: Stiffly erect annual or short-lived perennial herb, 15–60 cm high, upper parts often metallic blue in colour.

Basal leaves pinnatisect, 10–25 cm long, segments linear, pungent; stem leaves 1–6 cm long, less divided.

Inflorescence a compound dichasium, bracteate at each branching junction, bracts opposite, gradually decreasing in size up the inflorescence, deeply cleft with spinose tips; the ultimate inflorescence unit a head with spinose bracts scattered throughout; flower heads ovoid to globose, 6–13 mm long, 6–11 mm diam.; bracts linear, 5–20 mm long, rigid, pungent, greenish when immature becoming metallic blue. Flowers blue.

Fruit 2.5–4 mm long, covered with acute bladdery scales and crowned by persistent sepals.


Flower
Photo D. Hardin

Herbarium
Sheet

Herbarium
Sheet

Flowering: mainly November–January

Distribution and occurrence: Widespread, chiefly in inland districts, west to Hay district.

Grows in damp clayey or sandy soils of open woodland and disturbed roadside sites and pastures.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A. N.T.
AVH map***

Eryngium ovinum has previously been treated as a synonym of Eryngium rostratum, e.g. J.M.Powell & B.M.Wiecek in G.J.Harden (ed.), Fl. New South Wales 3: 92 (1992). The name Eryngium rostratum has been widely used in the Australia literature, but this species is endemic to Chile in South America.

Text by J. M. Powell & B. M. Wiecek (revised by P.G. Kodela, February 2011)
Taxon concept: P.W.Michael, Telopea 7(2): 173-174 (1997)


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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