Aphanes australis Rydb.
CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 2
Family - Rosaceae
Habit - Annual forb.
Stems - Spreading to ascending, to 10 cm, 4-angled, often reddish tinged, pubescent with silky hairs.
Leaves - Alternate, short-petiolate to nearly sessile. Stipules leaflike, the pair at each node fused in the basal half into a cup and also usually fused to the base of the leaf, palmately several-lobed to about the middle. Leaf blades 3-6 mm long, broadly obovate to nearly circular in outline, deeply 3-lobed, the lobes each 3-lobed or 3-toothed.
Inflorescences - Small clusters opposite the leaves, mostly hidden by the fused stipules.
Flowers - Perigynous, the hypanthium urn-shaped, 0.5-0.7 mm long at flowering, elongating to about 1.5 mm at fruiting, hairy. Sepals 4, less than 0.5 mm long, triangular, hairy, especially along the margins, persistent at fruiting. Petals absent. Stamen 1. Pistil 1 per flower. Ovary superior, nearly filling the hypanthium. Style 1, attached toward the base of the ovary, the stigma disc-shaped.
Fruits - Achenes, 1.0-1.2 mm long, elliptic in outline, yellowish brown, glabrous.
Flowering - April - May.
Habitat - Disturbed sites, cultivated ground, waste ground.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Lookalikes - None.
Other info. - To date, this little species has only been recorded from two Missouri counties, both along the southern border of the state. It may be found in more counties in the future. Its U.S. range is mostly in the southeast, and is is a common agricultural weed in some areas.
Photographs taken in Auburn, AL., 2-19-05 (DETenaglia).