Common name: African Sheep Bush
Pentzia incana (Thunb.) Kuntze APNI*
Description: Small shrub to 0.3 m high with ascending branches that root at the nodes where they contact the soil, making the low shrub spreading. Branches with finely appressed tomentose hairs, appearing matted.
Leaves more or less obovate to cuneate, in clusters, 3–9 mm, 1 or sometimes 2-pinnatifid, ultimate lobes linear to narrow spathulate, margins revolute, inconspicuously puberulent to tomentose with appressed hairs, or glabrate, minutely dotted with glands.
Flower heads spherical, c. 0.5 cm diameter. Peduncles slender, 2–3 cm long. Outer involucral bracts with narrow scarious margins, the inner bracts with relatively broad hyaline tips.
Achenes gray-brown, 1.2–1.8 mm long; pappus of 1–3 scales 0.6–1 mm long.
Flowering: Spring to Autumn.
Distribution and occurrence: Native to South Africa.
Naturalised in the North Western Plains of New South Wales.
NSW subdivisions: *NWP
Other Australian states: *S.A.
Shipped to Adelaide by Kew Gardens in 1864 as sheep fodder to improve the mutton flavour. (Mabberley 2006, The Plant Book.)
Text by Lawrence Mou
Taxon concept: Flora of America: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=250067305
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.