Scandix pecten-veneris L.

Shepherd’s Needle

Sp. Pl. 1: 256 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Extinct

Establishment means:Introduced

Annual to 60 cm high, pubescent or glabrescent. Leaves 2–3-pinnate or pinnatisect; lamina 3–16 cm long, 1–7 cm wide; segments 1–8 mm long, linear to lanceolate; petiole 3–12 cm long.  Common peduncle 0.5–5 cm long; bracts absent or 1, linear; rays 1–4, 5–20 mm long; umbellules 2–7-flowered; bracteoles c. 5, lanceolate, elliptic or ovate, ciliate, entire or incised at apex, 5–10 mm long, 1.5–4 mm wide; pedicels 1.5–8 mm long. Flowers c. 3 mm diam. Fruit linear-oblong, shortly pedicellate, 3-8 cm long usually with bristly margin, prominently 5-ribbed; fertile portion 8–15 mm long; sterile beak 2–7 cm long. Flowers Sep.–Dec.

Naturalised in SA, NSW, Tas. Native to Europe and western and central Asia.

A garden weed in the earlier part of the century in Hawkesdale, Geelong and Kyneton

This speies is easily recognised by the elongate beak portion of the fruit. This structure acts as a spring dispersal mechanism for the seed.

Created by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2016-08-18
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-01-08
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Apiales
family Apiaceae
genus Scandix
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Scandix pecten-veneris in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Scandix pecten-veneris in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Central Victorian Uplands extinct introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia