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Maltese cockspur (thistle)

Scientific Name
Centaurea melitensis
Scientific Author
Linnaeus, C (1753)
Taxonomy
(Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Asterales: Asteraceae)
Reliability
High
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Diagnostic Images

Achene Lateral
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Caption
Seed Project
Source
Clare McLellan Museum Victoria
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Diagnostic Images (10)
Other Images (1)
Diagnostic Notes
Pictured: Capsule and achene(s)

Fruit (referred to as achene or seed unit)

Description

Capsule appendages: Sharp tip

Capsule Colour: Yellow

Capsule Length: Greater than 10mm

Capsule Shape: Oval

Achene appendages: Pappus 2.5mm

Achene Colour: Variable - white to brown, Striped

Achene Length: 2 - 4mm, 4 - 7mm

Achene Sculpture: Smooth

Achene Shape: Narrowly oblong

Annual up to 1 m high; stems branched, winged in upper portion, pubescent.

Lower leaves lanceolate, pinnatifid, lyrate, to 4–14 cm long, 1–6 cm wide, finely pubescent to scabrous; cauline leaves lanceolate, decurrent, entire to toothed, 1–7 cm long, 3–5 mm wide.

Heads solitary or in groups of 2 or 3, ovoid-globose, 8–12 mm diam.; involucral bracts lanceolate, pale green, outer bracts cobwebby, with short recurved appendages; appendages with a terminal spine and 1–3 pairs of short lateral spines on each side. Florets yellow, the outer slightly spreading; corolla glandular.

Achenes 2.5 mm, pubescent; pappus 2.5 mm.

Source: Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust

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More Information
Author
Clare McLellan
Created
14/08/2012 02:57 AEST
Last Updated
17/01/2013 12:20 AEST
Citation
Clare McLellan (2012) Maltese cockspur (thistle) (Centaurea melitensis) Updated on 1/17/2013 12:20:17 PM Available online: PaDIL - http://www.padil.gov.au.
Image Use
Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License

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