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Cassinia macrocephala Orchard
Family Asteraceae
Cassinia macrocephala Orchard APNI*

Synonyms: Cassinia sp. B sensu Everett (1992) APNI*

Description: Erect shrubs with stems few, 1–2 m high.

Leaves very narrow-linear appearing almost terete.

Flower heads pedunculate, when fresh appearing white to cream or yellowish-green, globose when dry and mature. Inner involucral bracts usually white at the extreme tip, becoming more hyaline as they dry. Florets 10–17 per head, bracts present.

Achenes deep purple brown, cylindrical, 1.0–1.1 mm long, densely covered with long white twin hairs. Pappus in one row, barely fused at the base, 20–27 barbellate bristles 2 mm long, deciduous. At maturity involucral bracts spread to release achenes, palae and inner involucral bracts with remaining parts of flower head lasting on the plant for up to 12 months.

Photo L. von Richter



Distribution and occurrence:

Grows on granite in dry sclerophyll forest.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, CWS
AVH map***

Vegetatively this species closely resembles C. leptocephala, and if sterile the two are virtually indistinguishable.

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: A.E. Orchard (2004) Australian Systematic Botany 17 535-565.

 Key to the subspecies 
1Florets (9–)10–17 per flower head2
Florets 5–8 per flower head3
2Leaves 1.0–2.0 mm wide, (30–)55–70mm long, with hairs on upper surface dense, finely acicular, gland-tipped at least when young; florets more than 10 (usually 15–16) per capitulumsubsp. macrocephala
Leaves 0.7–1.0 mm wide, (20–)30–35mmlong, with hairs on upper surface less dense, coarser conical and not gland-tipped; florets (9 or) 10 per capitulum
                       Back to 1
subsp. tenuis
3Leaves 0.7–0.8mm wide, 25–55mm longsubsp. petrapendula
Leaves 1.3–1.5mm wide, 60–70mm long
                       Back to 1
subsp. storyi

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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