Emex spinosa (L.) Campd.

Lesser Jack

Monogr. Rumex 58 (1819) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Like Emex australis but plants usually erect, to c. 60 cm high, and leaves often larger, to 12 cm long, 8 cm wide. Fruiting perianth 5–7 mm long, 3–4 mm wide in the lower part, the sides each with a central rib bordered by 2–4 pits on either side, and a horizontal ridge at the widest point, shortly above the base, spines thick, spreading (or slightly recurved) to c. 6 mm diam., inner segments c. 1 mm wide at apex of tube, more or less oblong with a longitudinal, sometimes tuberculate ridge, acute at apex, not reticulate. Nut as for E. australis. Flowers Sep. (1 record).

*GipP, *MuM. Also naturalised WA, SA. Native to the Mediterranean region. Recorded in Victoria only twice, beside an irrigation channel at Merbein (1979), and in a degraded, previously cropped paddock at Neds Corner Station (2011).

Possibly occasionally hybridizes with Emex australis, specimens of intermediate fruit characters have been noted in South Australia.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Polygonaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-08-20
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Polygonaceae
genus Emex
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Emex spinosa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Emex spinosa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised

State distribution

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