Common name: Star Thistle
Centaurea calcitrapa L. APNI*
Description: Annual or biennial to 1 m high; stem much-branched, striate; stems and leaves with coarse septate hairs.
Basal leaves oblanceolate, deeply pinnatisect with toothed lanceolate lobes, to 20 cm long; lower cauline leaves lanceolate and pinnatifid to lyrate, to 2–8 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, dark green; upper leaves entire, narrow-lanceolate to linear, 2–4 mm wide.
Heads solitary, ovoid-cylindrical, 6–10 mm diam.; involucral bracts ovate, with straw-coloured appendages and a spreading terminal spine, 10–30 mm long; 1–3 pairs of basal spines, 3–4 mm long. Florets pale purple or pink, outer erect; corolla glandular.
Achenes c. 3 mm long, glabrous; pappus absent.
Distribution and occurrence: Weed of pastures, roadsides, wasteland and cultivated areas, west to Wanganella. Native of Europe, N Africa & Asia.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic.
A declared noxious weed in many shires.
Text by L. Murray
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
***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.