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Acaena magellanica

Description No Images

Authors: Vahl  

Botanical Description

Main stems woody, to 7mm thick, decumbent, seldom rooting, forming loose mats to 1m wide. All young stems pale green tinted deep pink. Leaves up to 5cm or more in length, light grey-green, composed of eleven to fifteen or more deeply blunt toothed leaflets. Flower heads globular with dark red anthers. Fruiting heads on stems to 12cm or more long, 1.8-2.5cm wide, the short spines brown, sometimes red tinted. Southern Chile and Argentina. A.m. subsp. laevigata is even more robust, with main stems eventually to 1cm thick and more strongly pinkish-red flushed when young. The leaves are thicker stalked with less deeply toothed, more crowded, dark green leaflets. Fruiting heads usually with red-tipped spines. A widespread, complex and variable species embracing many botanical and some horticultural synonyms. Its smallest examples even look very similar to A. tenera. From sea level in the Falklands, the Antarctic peninsula and southernmost Fuegia, northwards through the Andes to 4000m in Peru and Bolivia, in a wide variety of habitats including low to medium alpine herbfields, meadows, stream-sides, coastal sands, open forest, scree, volcanic ash-fields and feldmark.