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Acaena sericea

Description No Images

Authors: Jacq.  

Botanical Description

Primary stems up to 50cm or more long, procumbent to semi-erect, usually freely branching. Leaves 1.5-8cm long, composed of seven to fifteen elliptic to rhombic, sharply-toothed silky-hairy leaflets. Flower heads globose, to 8mm in diameter with purple stamens and stigmas, on stems 6-25cm tall, summer. Fruiting heads to 2cm wide, each woody fruitlet covered in very short spines. Southern Argentina and Chile in alpine herbfields and coastal sands and gravels, sometimes amongst scrub, from sea-level to 3000m. One of the very best foliage species with silvery or pale blonde plated leaflets. A. splendens (to 100cm) is very close to A. sericea, but the leaflets have crenate-dentate margins and the inflorescence is more cylindrical with a greater tendency to break up into lower subsidiary axilliary clusters. On Tierra del Fuego, at least, these characters merge, so that A. splendens may not be a valid species.