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 apparently now extant only in Qld. Presumed extinct in NSW (Threatened Species Conservation Act).
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.