Berkheya rigida (Thunb.) Bolus & Wolley-Dod

African Thistle

Trans. S. African Philos. Soc. 14: 289 (1904)

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Rigid perennial herb or subshrub to c. 60 cm high, rhizomatous; stems white-tomentose to glabrescent. Leaves alternate, sessile, lanceolate to ovate in outline, 4–9 cm long, 2–4 cm wide, pinnatisect, apex and lobes spine-tipped, base amplexicaul, upper surface blue-green and glabrescent, lower surface white-tomentose, margins revolute. Capitula 5–10 mm diam., several in terminal and axillary corymb-like clusters; involucre burr-like; involucral bracts in 3 or 4 unequal series, lanceolate, to c. 12 mm long, spreading, concave, margins spiny; receptacle-scales deeply lacerate. Ray florets absent; disc florets exceeding the involucre, yellow. Cypselas 2.5–3 mm long, glabrous, persistent; pappus scales minute, connate into a crown. Flowers most of the year (mainly spring and summer).

*CVU, *GipP, *OtP, *OtR, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, Tas. Native to Africa. Uncommon, but locally abundant on fertile loams, volcanic clays and in coastal areas west of Melbourne.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Asteraceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-05-09
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Asterales
family Asteraceae
genus Berkheya
Higher taxa


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

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales