Description: Annual and perennial herbs usually with a basal rosette; roots many, thick woolly and spreading or with a taproot.
Leaves alternate, in a basal rosette and sometimes cauline, margins entire, mostly stem-clasping, decreasing in size up stems.
Inflorescence a globose or hemispherical compound head on a scape; compound head of 20–125 stalked or sessile partial heads on a globose or conical general receptacle, common involucre of bracts usually similar to uppermost leaves; partial heads each subtended by a ± herbaceous bract and with 5–10 colourless involucral bracts, each partial head with 4–12 florets on a common receptacle; florets subtended by a scale similar to the bracts of the partial head, florets tubular, bisexual, 5-merous. Anthers tailed at the base with triangular apical appendages. Style branches flattened, linear-oblong, truncate, papillose with fimbriate apices.
Achenes obovoid, silky with bifid hairs; pappus a single ring of colourless plumose pappus bristles, fused for varying lengths at base.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 21–43 species, New Zealand, Australia. Australia: 13 species (endemic), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
C. species G in Jacobs & Pickard (1981) [C. species B in Thompson (1981) and C. species B in Costin et al. (1979)] is now regarded as representing hybrids of various alpine species.
Text by J. Everett & A. N. L. Doust
| ||Key to the species|| |
|Florets yellow or orange||3|
|2||Leaves broad, more than 5 mm wide, green and glabrous except for occasional hairs on margins||Craspedia leucantha|
|Leaves narrow, less than 5 mm wide, covered with long fine hairs|
Back to 1
|3||Leaves covered in long fine loose silvery hairs, occasionally with small glandular hairs, but never with long coarse multiseptate hairs||4|
|Leaves and lower part of scape covered in long coarse multiseptate hairs, occasionally with scattered minute glandular hairs and/or long fine hairs on the margins, rarely glabrous|
Back to 1
|4||Scapes woolly with long fine hairs; heads usually more than 2 cm diam.; leaves white, very thickly covered with long fine tangled hairs; usually alpine||Craspedia maxgrayi|
|Scapes glabrescent; heads less than 2 cm diam.; leaves silvery grey or grey-green, covered in long fine hairs or glabrescent on the upper surface; not alpine|
Back to 3
|5||Leaves long-attenuate at the base, usually silvery grey with a dense covering of long fine hairs; lower subalpine species||Craspedia coolaminica|
|Leaves not long-attenuate at the base, grey-green the upper surface often glabrescent; coastal to montane species|
Back to 4
Back to 3
|7||Leaves often long-attenuate at the base, with the base of the plant purple; heads usually 10–15 mm diam||Craspedia crocata|
|Leaves not long-attenuate at the base or if so then the base of the plant not purple; heads usually c. 20 mm or more diam|
Back to 6
|8||Leaves more than 15 cm long, oblong, blackish green, glabrous or occasionally with a few hairs; base of leaves c. 10 mm wide, often reddish||Craspedia paludicola|
|Leaves less than 15 cm long, spathulate to linear-ovate, not blackish green, hairy; base of leaves usually less than 5 mm wide, rarely reddish|
Back to 6
|9||Apex of scape conspicuously covered with long fine hairs||10|
|Apex of scape not conspicuously covered in long fine hairs, or, if long fine hairs present, then head hemispherical|
Back to 8
|10||Rosette spreading and pale green; leaves conspicuously pubescent with long multi-septate hairs terminating in long fine apices||Craspedia costiniana|
|Rosette erect and green; leaves not conspicuously hairy except on the margins|
Back to 9
|11||General bract narrow-ovate with narrow scarious margins; main bract of the partial involucre with a narrow band of scarious margins evenly distributed around the herbaceous central region; heads hemispherical||Craspedia jamesii|
|General bract broad-ovate with broad scarious margins; main bract of the partial involucre with scarious margins and a distinct elongated scarious tip; head ovoid to globose|
Back to 9
|12||A single taproot present; peduncles long; heads loose so that partial heads easily distinguishable when in flower||Craspedia haplorrhiza|
|Many equal thick spreading roots present; peduncles short; heads tight so that partial heads not easily distinguishable when in flower|
Back to 11