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Sphaeromorphaea littoralis (Retz.) A.R.Bean
Family Asteraceae
Sphaeromorphaea littoralis (Retz.) A.R.Bean APNI*

Description: Prostrate to sprawling perennial herb, to 25 cm high. Stem with dense multicellular hairs.

Leaves spathulate to oblanceolate to obovate, 9–60 mm long, 4–15 mm wide, concolourous, resin globules present on both surfaces, densely hairt when young, sparse to dense at maturity; margins dentate with 4–14 pairs of teeth.

Flowerheads solitary or in pairs, hemispherical; peduncles 2–14 mm long. Involucral bracts incurved, glabrous; median bracts ovate, glabrous with a few resin glbules, apex acute. Marginal florets c. 200, in several rows, female; corolla conica,l 0.7–1.2 mm long, pink to purple, resin globules numerous, apex very narrow. Disc florets 16–40, bisexual; corolla cylindrical, 1.1–1.4 mm long, 0.25–0.4 mm wide, pink, resin globules present throughout; lobes 4, triangular, each 0.2–0.3 mm long; style undivided, arms parallel.

Achenes 0.7–1.3 mm long, 0.25–0.35 mm wide, brown, ribs 8–14; twin hairs mainly at base, resin globules numerous, shining. Pappus corona transverse, circular or somewhat pentagonal, 0.05–0.09 mm wide, with numerous radial striations; pappus bristles usually absent.


Flowering: Flowers and fruits may be found at any time of the year.

Distribution and occurrence: Indigenous in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, western Queensland, western New South Wales and north-western Victoria. Native also to southern Asia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Philippines and southeastern China.

Grows in sunny places on the margins of creeks and dams, saline coastal flats and swamps, and in Australia extends into areas receiving very low annual rainfall. Soils are variable.
NSW subdivisions: SWP, NFWP, SFWP, NWP
Other Australian states: N.T.
AVH map***

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Bean, A.R. (2013) Sphaeromorphaea and Ethuliopsis. Austrobaileya 9(1): 30-59.


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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