Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Valerianaceae
Valerianella eriocarpa

Citation: Desv., J. Bol.(Desvaux) 2:314 (1809).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Italian (or narrow-fruit) cornsalad.

Annual herbs with suberect to decumbent branches up to 30 cm long, little-branched, with rough hairs mainly along ridges on the branches: leaves oblanceolate-spathulate to -petiolate in the basal rosette becoming narrowly oblong-lanceolate, sessile and with more or less stem-clasping basal lobes on the stems, 2.5-7 x 0.5-2.5 cm, rounded or obtuse, rarely acute below the inflorescence, with a few rough hairs along the margin of the veins.

Inflorescence terminal, with 1 to several corymb-like dichasia with up to 20 sessile flowers; bracts linear-lanceolate, scale-like, clasping flowers and fruit; calyx usually an oblique cup with 5 or 6 pointed usually unequal lobes, c. 1 mm long when flowing but enlarging later and about as long as the fruit; corolla with a short funnel-shaped tube up to 1 mm long, white; lobes oblong-oblanceolate, c. l mm long, subequal; stamens 3; ovary inferior with 3 cells but only 1 fully developed with 1 pendulous ovule, with a slender style and a terminal stigma with 3 short thread-like branches.

Fruit ellipsoidal, with a terminal sharply pointed calyx, slightly compressed, with several ridges on one side, with spreading to hooked hairs.

image of FSA3_Valerianella_eri.jpg Habit, flower and fruit.
Image source: fig. 620b in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Ross-Craig (1960) Drawings Brit. Pl. 14:fig. 34.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: YP, SL, SE.   Vic.; Tas.   Native to southern Europe, but cultivated throughout the continent and North Africa.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Oct., Nov.

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

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: In South Australian material the calyx tube is always somewhat oblique and 5 or 6 lobes are of varying sizes in V. eriocarpa, while in V. muricata the calyx tube is practically cut to the base on the anterior side and if teeth are present there are never more than 3. It seems thus convenient to keep the two introductions separate in spite of the treatment by Ernet & Richardson (1976) Fl. Europaea 4:51 who adapted a broader species concept and included both forms under V. eriocarpa.

Author: Not yet available

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