Vaccaria hispanica (Mill.) Rauschert

Cow Soapwort

Wiss. Z. Martin-Luther-Univ. Halle-Wittenberg, Math.-Naturwiss. Reihe 14: 496 (1965) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Annual; stems erect, branched above, 30–60 cm high. Leaves sessile, amplexicaul, glaucous, 15–70 mm long, 5–20 mm wide; lower leaves ovate to lanceolate, upper leaves oblong-lanceolate. Inflorescence lax, many-flowered; bracts scarious with green midrib; pedicels 10–35 mm long; calyx cylindric-ovoid, becoming broad-ovoid in fruit, 10–17 mm long, calyx-lobes triangular-acute; petal-limb 3–6 mm long, pink or purplish, entire, dentate or slightly emarginate; styles 2. Capsule ovoid to subglobose, 6–13 mm long, with 4 teeth; seeds subglobose, blackish-red, minutely tuberculate, 1.8–2.5 mm diam. Flowers Oct.–Nov.

*CVU, *EGU, *LoM, *MuM, *Strz, *VVP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW. Native to southern and central Europe, western Asia, but widely introduced elsewhere in the world. A widespread weed of cultivated and waste ground in extra-tropical Australia.

Source: Adams, L.G. (1996). Caryophyllaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-10-02
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
genus Vaccaria
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Vaccaria hispanica in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Vaccaria hispanica in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales