Common name: Austral cornflower
Rhaponticum australe (Gaudich.) Sojak APNI*
Synonyms: Stemmacantha australis (Gaudich.) Dittrich APNI*
Centaurea australis APNI*
Description: Erect herb up to c. 60 cm, branches slightly woolly.
Leaves oblanceolate, toothed to deeply pinnatifid; lower leaves up to 18 cm long and 6 cm wide, reducing in size up stem; upper leaves few, small and nearly sessile.
Heads terminal, 3–6 cm diam., ovoid-globose; outer involucral bracts with ± circular appendage, the inner becoming long, and the innermost bracts as long as the florets and lanceolate, with scarcely any scarious appendage. Corolla purplish.
Achenes striate, 7–8 mm long; pappus c. 20 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Known to grow on heavy soils; north from the Jenolan Caves area.
NSW subdivisions: CT, CWS, NWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
Threatened species: NSW BCA: Presumed Extinct in NSW; Commonwealth EPBC: Vulnerable
This species is considered data-deficient by Saving our Species (SoS, DPIE) which means a conservation project cannot be developed for it. Visit their website and contact SoS if you have additional information.
This species is apparently now extant only in Qld.
Text by L. Murray; updated Louisa Murray (May 2013)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992); Hidalgo et al. (2006) consider Stemmacantha to be congeneric with Rhaponticum
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.