Burrs and leaves. Photo: Russell Best, Murray Sunset National Park, Vic

Burrs and leaves . Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Shrub. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Common Name

Black Rolypoly, Prickly Rolypoly, Five-spined Bassia




Shrub or annual or perennial forb to 1.5m tall.  Leaves 0.5-2.5cm long, 1-2mm wide, linear to narrow and flat, hairless, with a straight point.  Flowers tiny (less than 3mm across), solitary at the bases of the leaves.  Burrs hairless, with three longer spines plus one or two shorter spines.  Poorly known Vic.

Differs from Sclerolaena muricata var. semiglabra and Sclerolaena muricata var. villosa in that the the plant (including the burrs) is hairless or almost so.

Description and photo (as Bassia quinquecuspis var. quinquecuspis) (page 256) in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales.  The line drawing of the burr (Fig. 46-28 page 253) is incorrect, showing a hairy burr.  A correct line drawing of the hairless burr is shown in eFlora of South Australia Fact Sheet

PlantNET description: