Rush skeletonweed, devil's grass, naked weed, succory
Fertile part of fruit 3-4(-4.5) mm long, 0.3-1 mm wide, in side view widest in upper part (obovoid), +/- straight, the upper (apical) end narrowing, in cross-section round (terete) (by misinterpretation) or flattened, basal scar (carpopodium) central, beak (=thinner sterile stalk between seed and pappus) present, beak length 3.5-5 mm, wings absent, fruit surface light brown or straw, smooth (except at cellular level), with no hairs (glabrous), thickened margin absent, longitudinal ribs present, 5-10, their surfaces smooth or toothed, serrated or scale-like, with no hairs (glabrous), wilted flower mostly absent.
Pappus type bristles / hairs, pappus elements all +/- similar, up to 5-7 mm long, in several rows, number of pappus elements eleven or more, pappus position central on upper end of fruit, persistent, falling off as a whole (by misinterpretation) or elements falling off individually (?), the individual bristles rough / serrated (barbellate), +/-equal width along length, white / translucent.
Notes: The beak tends to break off, so its upper part and the pappus may be missing. Ribs are serrated only in the upper part but smooth in the lower. It may not always be immediately obvious that the fertile part is flattened, and it can be hard to count the number of longitudinal ribs.
Biennial or short-lived perennial herb with deep taproot, fruits wind-dispersed. Temperate to Mediterranean climates, especially on severely disturbed land such as fields, degraded pastures, roadsides, eroded grounds, riverbanks, and wasteland. Several different forms exist, with varying levels of susceptibility to biological control.
Widespread through Western Europe, Northern Africa, to central Asia.
Canada, United States, Argentina, South Africa, Caucasus, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand.
Vic Regionally Restricted or Controlled; SA Category 2 Declared Weed; WA Declared Pest – s22(2) (C2, C3); Tas Declared.