Bursaria spinosa subsp. spinosa

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Low shrub to a tree up to c. 8 m high; branches (at least of juvenile plants) commonly armed with slender spines c. 1 cm long. Leaves alternate (those subtending spines often clustered), linear, narrowly ovate, elliptic, or obovate, entire or shallowly toothed, often shallowly emarginate, glabrous. Inflorescence a more or less pyramidal panicle usually c. 5–12 cm long and wide; flowers white or cream; sepals ovate or triangular, 0.5–1 mm long, caducous; petals oblong to narrowly obovate, c. 5–8 mm long; stamens subequal to petals; ovary plus style shortly exceeded by stamens. Capsule broadly obovate or obcordate, 4–8 mm long, 5–10 mm wide, brown, glabrous; seeds reniform, brown, flat, c. 3–4 mm long. Flowers Oct.–Jan.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, RobP, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Except for far north-west, heavier soils of the Wimmera, Riverina, Volcanic Plain, and higher mountain ranges, widespread and common almost throughout the State.

The immense variability of habit and leaf size, shape etc. demonstrated by this subspecies appears to be more or less continuous, and due more to environmental influences and age of the plant than the existence of distinct entities. Young plants and those from drier sites tend to be spinescent and small-leaved, while mature plants from well-watered areas (coasts, river valleys, fertile plains) tend to be large-leaved, virtually spineless and are often arborescent.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2015-09-25
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2021-03-26
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Apiales
genus Bursaria
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Bursaria spinosa subsp. spinosa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Bursaria spinosa subsp. spinosa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory