General Description: A perennial herb, to 40 cm tall, with long, pinnate leaves at the base of erect stems bearing interrupted clusters of small, cream flowers or spiny fruit with a larger, almost globular cluster at the end.
Flowers and Fruit: Many in clusters along stem. Individual flowers, pale green and purple, about 2 mm wide, with 5 green sepals, 2-8 purple stamens and 1 style. Flowers from August April.
Fruit consists of interrupted clusters, to 2 cm wide, consisting of numerous, ovoid seeds, to 5 mm long, each with up to 35, purple, hooked spines of variable length, from 0.5 to 5 mm long.
Site Preference and Tolerances: Prefers lower slopes but adaptable, tolerating wet or dry conditions.
Life Span: This is a perennial herb and persists well in the Australian environment and spreads easily into any nearby bare ground.
Wildlife Value: Provides seed for Rosellas.
Other Values and Uses: When in fruit, arrow-shaped barbs attach to passing animals and clothes. This is a useful soil-binding and ground cover plant that can be used as a lawn substitute but the burrs may be a problem on clothing. If the flowers are mowed a few times before they form burrs this can help this problem.
Germination Information: Usually grows well in a few weeks without any treatment.