R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 446 (1810).
Synonymy: Not Applicable
Common name: Afghan thistle, prickly potato weed.
A sprawling clonal herbaceous perennial 5-25 cm long; stems rarely lasting more than one season, sometimes forming little more than a rosette of leaves; prickles to 1.5 cm long, pale, straight, abundant on stems, petioles, upper and lower leaf surfaces, peduncles, pedicels, calyx and a few on the corolla; leaf surface almost glabrous between prickles, or hispid with a few simple several-celled hairs on the main veins, petiole and twigs, also occasional reduced stellate hairs in which lateral cells are not well developed, minute glandular hairs also occur on pedicels, calyx, leaf axils and at the base of some of the larger hairs; general aspect green; leaves scarcely discolorous, 3-7 x 1-1.5 rarely 2 cm, elliptic, with 5-11 bluntly triangular lobes, sinuses rounded and reaching about half way to the midrib, lobes with up to 2 smaller shallow lobes, lobe and leaf apex rounded or acute, base cuneate, very oblique.
Inflorescence a 1-10-flowered cyme from an extra-axillary position; peduncle 0.5-1 cm .long; floral rhachis 1-3 cm long; pedicel 0.5-1 cm long; calyx tube 2-3 mm long; lobes 2-3 mm long, triangular; corolla 1.5-2.5 cm diam., broadly stellate to rotate, pale-blue or white; filaments c. 1 mm long; anthers c. 5 mm long, oblong; ovary glabrous; style erect; stigma green.
Fruiting peduncle c. 3 cm long, pedicel c. 2 cm long; berry 1.5-2.5 cm diam., globular, enclosed in an enlarged membranous prickly calyx which may burst irregularly, berry finally drying almost black; seeds 2-2.5 mm long, dark-grey to almost black, minutely reticulate.
||Flowering and fruiting branch and a fruit.
Image source: fig. 575E in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).|
Symon (1981) J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4:237.
S.Aust.: NU, GT, EP. isolated records of non-permanent occurrence in W.Aust.; N.S.W.
Flowering time: Sept. — April.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
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