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

Family: Compositae
Carthamus lanatus

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 830 (1753).

Synonymy: Kenlrophyllum lanatum (L.)DC. & Duby, Bot. Gall. 1:293 (1828). , Kentrophyllum lanatum

Common name: Saffron thistle, woolly star-thistle.

Rigid annual herb to 1 m high; stem divergent-branched, striate, finely pubescent, greyish; basal leaves oblanceolate, pinnatisect with spine-tipped lobes, to 13 cm long, c. 4.5 cm wide, soon lost; cauline leaves sessile, amplexicaul at the base, lanceolate, 3-6 cm long, dentate with narrow spine-tipped teeth to 10 mm long, bright-green, glandular, prominently veined, glabrous to pubescent.

Involucre 2.5-3 cm long; outer bracts leaf-like, 2.5-4 cm long, often cobwebby; inner bracts entire, lanceolate to oblong, scarious on the margin, 2-3 cm long, glandular, with a small spiny appendage; corollas c. 10 cm long, yellow to cream.

Achenes 5-6 mm long; pappus scales linear, acute, unequal, the longest 7-10 mm long.

Published illustration: Parsons (1973) Noxious weeds of Victoria, p. 53.

Distribution:  On pastures, roadsides and arable land.

S.Aust.: LE, NU, GT, FR, EA, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, SE.   All States.   Native to southern Europe and western Asia.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: mainly Nov. — Dec.

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

Biology: C. lanatus is a serious weed of cereal crops and of pastures where it is not grazed by stock once the very spiny cauline leaves develop.

Author: Not yet available

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