Thursday, December 19, 2013

Botany picture #128: Actites megalocarpa

Actites megalocarpa (Asteraceae), Tasmania, 2013. Although it looks like an introduced weed in this country more dominated by paper daisies, this unassuming plant is a native. It is found on dunes along many of the Australian coasts, not only in Tasmania. Strange then that so many invasive weeds have been introduced to stabilize dunes when Australia already had an array of species for that purpose. I have read hints that Actites might merely be an unnecessary segregate of the sow thistle genus Sonchus, and with the spiny leaves there is surely some striking affinity here.

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