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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Compositae
Centaurea melitensis

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 917 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Maltese cockspur, cockspur thistle, Malta thistle.

Description:
Rigid annual 20-100 cm high; stems erect, branched, winged in the upper portion, pubescent; basal leaves lanceolate, lyrate, pinnatifid, to 14 cm long, finely pubescent to scabrous, prominently veined, withering before flowering; cauline leaves lanceolate, decurrent, entire to dentate, 1-7 cm long, 2-9 mm wide, finely pubescent with scabrous margins and mid-vein.

Capitula solitary or in groups of 2 or 3, 8-12 mm diam.; involucre broadly ovoid, 9-12 mm long; bracts lanceolate, pale-green, the outer cobwebby, the inner glabrous; appendages with a straight patent terminal spine 6-9 mm long and 1-3 pairs of spinules 0.5-1.5 mm long, pinnately arranged along the lower portion, straw-coloured; outer florets patent; corollas yellow.

Achenes c. 2.5 mm long, greyish, slightly ribbed; pappus of unequal bristles to 2 mm long.

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 720.

Distribution:  Common on roadsides, waste land and pasture; occasional in arable land.

S.Aust.: NW, LE, NU, GT, FR, EA, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   All States except the N.T.   Native to southern Europe.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: mainly Sept. — March.


SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available


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