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Sphaeromorphaea australis (Less.) Kitam.
Family Asteraceae
Common name: Spreading Nut-heads

Sphaeromorphaea australis (Less.) Kitam. APNI*

Synonyms: Epaltes australis Less. APNI*
Sphaeromorpha australis (Less.) Kitam. APNI*

Description: Prostrate to ascending perennial herb, up 30 cm high. Stems with multicellular hairs when young, glabresent.

Leaves spathulate, obovate or obalnceolate, 26–70 mm long, 7–21 mm wide, discolourous, resin globules on both surfaces, margins dentate to denticmlate, with 4–8 pairs of teeth.

Flower heads solitary or in pairs, opposite leaves, 4–5.5 mm wide; peduncles 1–6 mm long. Involucral bracts incurved, acute with resin globules. Ray florets 150–300 in several rows, pink to purple, female; disc florets 13–34, pink to maroon, bisexual or functionally male.

Achenes from disc florets sometimes infertile white to pale yellow. Ray achenes fertile, cylindrical, c. 0.9 mm long, brown with 8–12 white ribs, resin globules few to numerous; pappus bristles absent.

Photo J. & P. Edwards

Flowering: Flowers and fruits can be found at any time of the year.

Distribution and occurrence: A common and widespread species, from Uladulla in NSW to Townsville Queensland, and Cooktown, and near Perth in Western Australia.

In forests dominated by Eucalyptus spp. Acacia harpophylla or Melaleuca spp., and sometimes adjacent to mangrove in saline habitats.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, NWS, CWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld W.A.
AVH map***

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Bean, A.R. (2013) Sphaeromorphaea and Ethuliopsis. Austrobaileya 9(1): 30-59.

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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