Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet
Citation: Forster f. ex Willd., Sp. Pl. 3:1981 (1803), sensu lato.
Synonymy: Not Applicable
Common name: Variable groundsel, fireweed.
Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 676.
Biology: No text
Taxonomic notes: This species complex well deserves its common name. The present authors are not satisfied with previous taxonomic treatments of this group. The 4 subspecies listed in some floras are not clearly defined, and require re-examination by conventional taxonomic methods. Examination of a limited set of specimens from New Zealand, the type locality of S. lautus, has suggested that the complex is even more variable there than indicated by the treatment of Ornduff (1960) Trans. & Proc. R. Soc. New Zealand 88:63-77. Comparison of these specimens with a much larger number of specimens from across Australia, however, has failed to date to reveal reliable criteria by which to determine whether or not the New Zealand and Australian specimens are conspecific. Black's var. pilosus is known only from the holotype and isotype from Franklin Island, and one collection from Flinders Island. It is unmatched by any other Australian specimens yet seen in its dense pubescence of crisped multicellular hairs over all parts except the capitula. A number of specimens determined as S. lautus from New Zealand, however, closely approach Black's specimen in pubescence.
Author: Not yet available
State Herbarium of South Australia