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Pupalia lappacea (L.) A.Juss.


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Pupalia lappacea

Image 1
Leaves
21 Mar 2008

Pupalia lappacea

Image 2
Leaves and branching stems
21 Mar 2008

Pupalia lappacea

Image 3
Fruit
21 Mar 2008

Pupalia lappacea

Image 4
Habit
22 Mar 2008

Pupalia lappacea

Image 5
Fruit
29 Jun 2006



Family: Amaranthaceae
Full name: Pupalia lappacea (L.) A.Juss.
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Beesklits, Klits, Bosklits
English common name(s): Creeping cock's comb, Sweethearts, Forest bur, Bur
Synonym(s): -
Status: Alien
Description: Flowers: inflorescence a terminal spike of small clusters of flowers, spike ±150 mm long; individual flowers well spaced when mature; perianth white to greenish; each flower surrounded by cluster of hooked spines with woolly hairs between.

Annual or perennial herb, erect and c. 0.3–0.9 m tall, or prostrate and sprawling, or scrambling to as much as 2.5 m, usually much-branched, stem and branches thinly pilose to densely tomentose. Leaves very variable in shape and size, from narrowly ovate-elliptic to oblong or round, 2–14 x 1–7 cm, acuminate to obtuse-apiculate or retuse, shortly cuneate to attenuate at the base, petiole 2–3.5 cm; indumentum extremely variable, from densely sericeous or tomentose to subglabrous with a few hairs along the lower surface of the primary venation, rarely quite glabrous. Inflorescences at first dense, elongating to as much as 50 cm in fruit including the 1–10 cm peduncle, with the lower flower clusters increasingly remote, axis and peduncle subglabrous to tomentose. Partial inflorescences mostly of 1 fertile flower subtended on each side by a triad of one fertile and two steriles; sterile flowers stellately 3-branched, each branch terminating in (3–)5–18(–20 or more) yellowish to purple or red hooked setae up to 7 mm long in 3 ranks. Tepals oblong-ovate to lanceolate-ovate, (3–)4–5(–6) mm, 3(–5)-nerved, subglabrous to tomentose, the inner 3 slightly shorter. Style short to rather slender, (0.5–)0.9–2(–3) mm. Capsule ovoid, 2–2.5 mm. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Somalia)

Annual or perennial herb, more or less erect and c. 0.3–0.9 m tall, or prostrate and sprawling, or subscandent and scrambling to as much as 2.5 m, stem generally much-branched and swollen at the nodes, branches opposite, divaricate or ascending, slender; stems and branches obtusely 4-angled to almost terete, thinly pilose to densely tomentose. Leaves variable to shape and size, from narrowly ovate-elliptic to oblong or circular, 2–10(14) x 1–5(7) cm, acuminate to obtuse-apiculate or retuse at the summit, shortly or more longly cuneate at the base, narrowed to a petiole 0.5–2.5(3.5) cm long; indumentum of lamina varying from sericeous or tomentose to subglabrous with a few hairs running vertically along the lower surface of the primary venation, rarely quite glabrous, commonly moderately pilose with the hairs along the nerves divergent. Inflorescences at first more or less dense, elongating to as much as 0.5 m in fruit with the lower flowers becoming increasingly remote, axis subglabrous to tomentose, peduncle c. 1–10 cm long; bracts lanceolate, 1.5–2.5 mm long, persistent, more or less deflexed after the fall of the fruit, subglabrous or pilose, sharply mucronate with the percurrent midrib; partial inflorescences mostly of one solitary hermaphrodite flower subtended on each side by a triad of one hermaphrodite and 2 modified flowers; bracteoles of each triad broadly subcordate-ovate, (2.75)3–5(6) mm, abruptly narrowed to the stramineous to dark arista forming by the excurrent midrib, membranous with a pale margin, thinly to very densely hairy; bracteoles of sterile flowers ovate-lanceolate, usually more shortly and less densely pilose. Tepals oblong-ovate to lanceolate-ovate, more or less quickly narrowed to a rather obtuse mucronate apex to gradually narrowed and acute-aristate, the outer two (3.5)4–5(6) mm long, subglabrous to more or less tomentose dorsally, 3(5)-nerved, the midrib and 2 inner nerves confluent just below the apex and excurrent in the mucro or short arista, inner 3 slightly shorter and more densely pilose. Branches of sterile flowers 3, each terminating in (3)5–18 (20) mm long setae in 1–3 ranks; setae subglabrous to more or less villous in the lower half, yellowish to purple or red, (1.5)3–7 mm, the partial inflorescence falling intact to form a burr c. 8–18 cm in diam. Style short to rather slender, (0.5)0.9–2(3) mm long. Capsule ovoid. 2–2.5 mm long. Seed oblong-ovoid with a prominent radicle, 2 mm long, dark brown, shining, testa at first faintly reticulate but finally smooth or punctulate. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Zambesiaca)

A large straggling undershrub; branches terete, tomentose; leaves 1.25–4 in. long, 0.5–2 in. wide, elliptic or ovate, acute or acuminate, rounded or shortly cuneate at the base, finely apiculate, tomentose on both surfaces, ciliate; main nerves conspicuous beneath; petioles 0.1–0.25 in. long; flowers in close or distant clusters arranged in terminal spikes 4–10 in. long; rhachis tomentose; bracts ovate, acuminate, pungent; villous, 0.125–0.167 in. long; bracteoles ovate-oblong, apiculate, concave, 0.2 in. long, 0.125 in. wide; sterile flowers subtended by a small lanceolate bract, reduced to bunches of unequal stellately spreading hooked awns, woolly below, enlarged and yellow in fruit; perianth-segments 0.2 in. long, lanceolate, aristate, 3-nerved, densely clothed with white wool; utricle membranous, very thin, oblong, suddenly and shortly tapering at the apex into the long persistent style; seed 0.1 in. long, 0.0833 in. wide, ellipsoid, compressed, smooth, shining, black. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iSpot
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 21 Mar 2018


Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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