Xanthium strumarium L.

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Xanthium strumarium

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mussapa River at Nhabawa Village, Chimanimani National Conservation Area bufferzone

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Synonyms: Xanthium pungens Wallr.
Common names: Giant cocklebur (English)
Status: Probably introduced
Annual herb, to 1 m; branches without spines. Leaves petiolate, broadly deltate, concolorous; simple or 3-5-lobed; base usually cordate in outline but cuneate at the very base. Male capitula terminal on short axillary branchlets. Female capitulum with phyllaries connate around the 2 achenes. Fruit c. 2.3 cm bearing numerous spines with hooked tips.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In disturbed ground and by streams
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Probably native in North America and widely naturalized throughout the world.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Beentje, H.J. & Ghazanfar, S.A. (eds.) (2005). Compositae (Part 3) Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 817 - 818. (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 147.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 29.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 35.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 42. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 39.

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Pages 118 - 119. (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 78. as Xanthium pungens (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1967). The Compositae of the Flora Zambesiaca area. 1. Heliantheae. Kirkia 6(1) Pages 3 - 4.

Other sources of information about Xanthium strumarium:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Xanthium strumarium
Flora of Caprivi: Xanthium strumarium
Flora of Mozambique: Xanthium strumarium
Flora of Zambia: Xanthium strumarium

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Xanthium strumarium
African Plant Database: Xanthium strumarium
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Xanthium strumarium
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Xanthium strumarium
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Xanthium strumarium
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Xanthium strumarium
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Xanthium strumarium
JSTOR Plant Science: Xanthium strumarium
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Xanthium strumarium
Plants of the World Online: Xanthium strumarium
Tropicos: Xanthium strumarium
Wikipedia: Xanthium strumarium

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Xanthium strumarium.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=160310, retrieved 26 May 2024

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