Common name: Cotton Fireweed
Senecio quadridentatus Labill. APNI*
Description: Erect or ascending perennial herb mostly 40–100 cm high, much-branched from base, usually densely white-cobwebby.
Leaves linear to narrow-lanceolate, usually 5–12 cm long, mostly 2–5 mm wide except for basal leaves up to c. 12 mm wide, apex acute, margins mostly finely toothed but usually revolute and appearing entire, lower surface densely cobwebby, upper surface more sparsely hairy or sometimes glabrescent.
Inflorescence at first dense but forming narrow open panicles; heads narrow-cylindrical, 1–2 mm diam., glabrous or ± cobwebby; involucral bracts 10–13, 6.5–9 mm long, with 3 longitudinal veins; bracteoles 1–4. Florets 25–40, about same length as involucre; outer florets filiform; inner florets tubular.
Achenes 2.5–4 mm long, beaked, green, reddish or dark brown, ribs prominent; pappus 5–7 mm long.
Flowering: chiefly spring.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in disturbed situations, especially after fire, widespread.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. W.A. S.A.
Specimens that closely resemble this taxon have been recognized as S. species M in Jacobs & Pickard (1981). In these the indumentum on stems and leaves varies from being ± glabrous to the leaves being sparsely scabrous. NC CC NT ST CWS SWS NWP; Vic.
Text by G. J. Harden
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
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