Common name: Tall Sneezeweed
Centipeda pleiocephala N.G.Walsh APNI*
Description: Erect slender annual, 30–40 cm high, often several branched from base, glabrous except for a few cottony hairs on young branchlets, sometimes persisting in axils.
Leaves more or less oblong to narrow-obovate, 8–25 mm long, 2–7 mm wide, toothed, margin flat (sometimes recurved on young leaves), glabrous, resin dotted on both surfaces, concolourous.
Inflorescences axillary, of 2–4 flower heads (sometimes 1), racemosly arranged, upper heads with a peduncle. Head hemispherical to biconvex 2–4.5 mm diam.; involucral bracts spathulate to obovate, 1–1.5 mm long, margins membranous, ruminate; female (outer) florets 100–170 in 3–5 rows; bisexual florets 4–18.
Fruiting heads soft, readily disintegrating when mature and still growing on plants; bracts straight or slightly incurved, widely spreading; fruitung receptacle 1–1.5 mm diam. Achenes obloid, narrow-obovoid, 0.8–1.3 mm long, obtuse or rounded (female florets) or truncate (bisexual florets) at apex, smooth, finely 2–4-ribbed, vesicular trichomes lacking or very sparse, hairs antrorsely appressed.
Distribution and occurrence: Scattered throughout inland Australia, mostly between altitudes 20 and 32 degrees S, in all mainland States.
Semi arid to arid areas in moist sandy, silty or clay soild at marings of waterholes, dams, creeklines, and on floodplains and gilgai landforms. Usually associated with ephemeral herbaceous herbage amongst shrubland (Atriplex, Mairenana, Muelenbeckia) or woodland (Eucalyptus microtheca, E. largiflorens, E. camaldulensis, Acacia stenophylla.
NSW subdivisions: CC, NWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. S.A. W.A. N.T.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Walsh, N.G.(2001) Revision of Centipeda. Muelleria Vol 15 ; 33-64
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.