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Senecio spathulatus A.Rich.
Family Asteraceae
Common name: Coast Groundsel

Senecio spathulatus A.Rich. APNI*

Description: Sprawling to prostrate perennial herb to 0.5 mm high, ±glabrous.

Leaves in mid-region of stems 1–5 cm long, mostly undivided, very fleshy, drying thick and wrinkled; base cuneate to truncate; margin dentate, serrate for denticulate; undivided leaves obovate or oblanceolate; divided leaves with 1–3 narrow-oblong segments per side; uppermost leaves sometimes oblong or elliptic, base sometimes weakly clasping.

Inflorescences of 1–5 flowerheads; bracteoles 8–12; involucre 5.0–11.0 mm long, involucral bracts c. 13, rarely 8–10, broader stereomes (herbaceous centre of bracts) to 3 mm wide, not ridged on drying, drying dark brown. Florets 60–140; ligulate florets c.13, ligule 10–25 mm long; corolla of disc florets 5–8 mm long.

Achenes 50–60% of the length of the involucral bracts. 3.0–7.0 mm long, orange, golden, light brown, or straw coloured; pappus 5–7 mm long, persistent.

Flowering: Flowers most of the year.

Distribution and occurrence: NC, CC, SC. Vic., Tas.

Senecio spathulatus is a specialised coastal species occurring mostly on frontal dunes and forming low, broad clumps. It is characterised by short fleshy leaves, large fleshy flowerheads and large fruit with a presistent pappus
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC

Threatened species: NSW BCA: Endangered
AVH map***

This species is characterised by short fleshy leaves, large fleshy flowerheads and large fruit with a persistent pappus.

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Ian R. Thompson (2005) Taxonomic Studies of Australian Senecio (Asteraceae): 5. The S. pinnatifolius./S. lautus complex. Muelleria 21:23-76.

Two varieties in NSW: Senecio spathulatus var. attenuatus and Senecio spathulatus var. latifructus

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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