Wirewort (Asteridea athrixioides)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida)
Order: Sunflowers (Asterales)
Family: Daisy (Asteraceae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Wirewort (Asteridea athrixioides)
This Photo:     🔍Bloomed, profile🔎

Thank you Margaret Langley for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
Can be confused with Billy Buttons. Instead of the compound flower head being a whole ball, it's half a yellow ball, with a green hairy cup under.
The cup is hard to see from above. The compound flowers show many patterns through their short life, hence the large quantity of photos.
They have hairy succulent green basal leaves.
Kym Nicolson highlighted to us that Billy Buttons have a much thicker peduncle (flower stalk) than either Wireworts or Little Buttons.
We recently photographed Billy Buttons, for the first time, and realised they are massively larger than the other 2 species mentioned.
We found, what we suspect to be, a mutated form of Asteridea athrixioides caused by fungal attack at the roots. One we pulled up to send in to the SA Herbarium was covered in white fungus; and sprintails (which eat fungus). Thanks to Peter Lang for helping with these. We found a couple of specimens last year. This year we've found over 20.

Similar Species: Little Button (Leptorhynchos tetrachaetus)

Copyright © 2019-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 24-Sep-2019
This species is classed as LC (Least Concern) in the Murray Mallee, SA, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)