Sunday, September 25, 2011



Arctotheca calendula

Found two plants at Jarowair (25th September 2011) near the bird aviaries.  J.G.


Arctotheca calendula

Family: Asteraceae

Form: Herb

Origin: Native of South Africa and Lesotho.

Flowers/Seedhead: Many small flowers (florets) in solitary heads, 2–6 cm across at the end of stalks 8–25 cm long. Flowers mostly spring and early summer.

Description: Annual rosette-forming herb with taproot; individual plants to 80 cm wide and 30 cm high. Leaves with upper surface hairless to hairy; basal leaves 5–25 cm long, 2–6 cm wide, on a stalk to 6 cm long; upper leaves, if present, stem-clasping.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by deeply lobed basal leaves, white downy underneath; area where seeds attach to the head (receptacle) pitted; petal-like ray florets yellow above, grey-green below with strap-like parts mostly 1.5–2.5 cm long, disc florets dark purple; seeds covered in pale brown wool and topped by 6–8 short scales.

Dispersal: Spread by movement of seed, by wind, water or movement in mud.

Notes: Germinates autumn and winter, dying in summer. Widespread and common in temperate areas, and sometimes dominant in pasture. A weed of cultivation, pastures, lawns and disturbed areas. Plants are readily eaten by stock, but woolly seeds may cause impaction. Grazing is thought to taint milk and where Capeweed is the dominant feed nitrate poisoning of stock is possible.

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