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Scale bar 10mm. Copyright CSIRO
10th leaf stage. Copyright CSIRO
Leaves, flowers and fruit. Copyright B. Gray
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. Copyright CSIRO
Erechtites valerianifolius f. valerianifolius
Erechtites valerianifolius (Wolf) DC. f. valerianifolius
Candolle, A.P. de (1838) Prodromus 6: 195. Type: ?.
Erechtites valerianifolius (Wolf) DC. f. valerianifolius, Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 43: 26(1956), Type: ?. Senecio valerianifolius Wolf, Ind. Sem. Hort.. Berol. (1825); ex Reichb. Ic. Bot. Exot. 1: 59(1825), Type: ?.
Brazilian Fireweed; Federal Weed
Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1.5-2 m tall but occasionally flowers as a herb.
Leaf blades usually deeply lobed, rather variable in size, about 3-20 x 2-8 cm, midrib and veins pale. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade clothed in white hairs. Stem and twigs longitudinally ribbed and hairy. Petiole grooved on the upper surface.
Flowers borne in heads about 3 mm diam., subtended by about 12-15 linear bracts. Flowers in the middle of the head are hermaphrodite while those towards the margins are female. Calyx consists of a ring of hairs (pappus). Pollen white. Stigma bilobed.
Cotyledons about 7-10 x 6-8 mm. First pair of leaves with toothed margins. Stem hairy above the cotyledons. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves simple and coarsely toothed. Apex acute, base attenuate, both the upper and lower surfaces sparsely clothed in pale multicellular hairs.
Distribution and Ecology
An introduced species originally from South America, now naturalized in NEQ and southwards as far as coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 1000 m. Usually grows as a weed of agricultural land but also found in disturbed areas and along roads in lowland, upland and mountain rain forests.
Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)