Mercurialis annua L.

Sp. Pl. 2: 1035 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Annual herb to c. 50 cm (rarely to 1 m) high, rooting from lower nodes; dioecious (rarely monoecious). Leaves ovate, lamina 20–60 mm long, 10–25 mm wide, thin-textured, margin crenate-serrate, glabrous or with a few short marginal hairs; petiole 3–15 mm long; stipules triangular, 1–2 mm long. Male inflorescences with fine peduncles to c. 5 cm long, bare in the lower half; flowers sessile or subsessile, in tight clusters of up to c. 10, the clusters crowded toward the apex; sepals broadly ovate, c. 2 mm long at anthesis; stamens c. 15 per flower, the very fine filaments equal to or shortly exceeding the sepals. Female flowers solitary, rarely paired, in axils, subsessile at anthesis, pedicels to 5 mm long in fruit; sepals broadly ovate, c. 1.5 mm long; ovary bristly, styles feathery. Capsule 2–3 mm long; seed ovoid, c. 2 mm long, rugulose.

Known from a 2001 collection along a creek in outer eastern Melbourne and a few early 1900s collections from Coode Island (Melbourne dock area).

Created by: Neville Walsh, 2014-08-08
Updated by: Andre Messina, 2019-01-22
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malpighiales
family Euphorbiaceae
genus Mercurialis
Higher taxa