10th leaf stage. Copyright CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. Copyright CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. Copyright CSIRO
Habit, leaves and flowers. Copyright CSIRO
Spermacoce latifolia Aubl.
Aublet, J.B.C.F. (1775) Histoire des Plantes de la Giuane Francoise 1: 55. Type: Habitat ad margines viarum Caiennae & Guinae.
Usually flowers and fruits as a herb but occasionally grows to about 1 m tall.
Stipules interpetiolar, broad and hairy with five large and five small teeth. Leaf blades about 2-7.5 x 1-3.5 cm, petioles nil or up to 1 cm long. Lateral veins depressed on the upper surface.
Calyx lobe margins fimbriate. Corolla tube 1-3.5 mm long, hairy on the inner surface but glabrous outside. Pollen white. Two fleshy glands visible at the base of the style.
Capsules about 2.5-3 mm long. Fruits clothed in white hairs, calyx lobes persistent at the apex. Seeds about 3 x 1.8 mm. Testa surface reticulate.
Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 2.5-4 mm diam. First pair of leaves ovate, mainly glabrous, stipules present, interpetiolar. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate or elliptic, +/- sessile. Upper surface strigose, lower surface pubescent. Stipules interpetiolar with several tooth-like projections. Stems 4-angled, hairy.
Distribution and Ecology
An introduced species originally from South America which now occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in open forest and on agricultural land but also found in disturbed areas and along roads in monsoon forest and rain forest. Also occurs in tropical America and Malesia.
Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)