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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Asterales

Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Asteroideae
Tribus: Astereae
Genus: Chloracantha
Species: Chloracantha spinosa

Chloracantha G.L.Nesom, Y.B.Suh, D.R.Morgan, S.D.Sundb. & B.B.Simpson, 1991

G.L.Nesom, Y.B.Suh, D.R.Morgan, S.D.Sundb. & B.B.Simpson. 1991. Phytologia 70(5):378


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Chloracantha in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Sep 21. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Chloracantha. Published online. Accessed: Sep 21 2020. 2020. Chloracantha. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Sep 21.
Catalogue of Life: 2020 Annual Checklist

Vernacular names
English: Spiny aster

Chloracantha is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the aster family, containing the single species Chloracantha spinosa. It is distributed in the southwestern and south-central United States (CA NV AZ UT NM TX OK LA),[2] most of Mexico, and much of Central America.[3] Its English language common names include spiny chloracantha, spiny aster, devilweed aster, and Mexican devilweed.[4] In Spanish it is known as espina de agua, espinaza, and espinosilla.[5]

This species is a perennial herb or subshrub; its green stems look more herbaceous than woody, "but it behaves more like a subshrub",[6] with its tough stems living for several years and rapidly developing vascular cambia. The stems are hairless and sometimes waxy in texture, and some of the lateral branches may be sharply angled and reduced in size, becoming thorns. The alternately arranged leaves persist for only a short time and then fall away. Large colonies of these bare stems proliferate from a robust rhizomes. The stems usually reach a maximum height around 1.5 meters, but can well exceed 2 meters at times. They bear loose arrays of many flower heads each roughly half a centimeter long and wide. The head is lined with layers of hairless phyllaries. It contains up to 33 coiling white ray florets and many yellow disc florets. The fruit is a cypsela with a pappus of many barbed bristles.[6]

This plant is known from dry habitat and moist spots, such as streambanks and seeps. It tolerates some saline habitat types.[7]


Chloracantha spinosa var. spinosa
Chloracantha spinosa var. jaliscensis (McVaugh) S.D. Sundb. - Jalisco, Nayarit
Chloracantha spinosa var. spinosissima (Brandegee) S.D.Sundb. - Baja California
Chloracantha spinosa var. strictospinosa S.D.Sundb. - Chiapas, Michoacán, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama


Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist Archived 2014-11-13 at
Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution map
"Chloracantha spinosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 21 January 2018.
Chloracantha spinosa. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Chloracantha spinosa. Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Garden.
Chloracantha. Flora of North America.
Chloracantha spinosa var. spinosa. The Jepson eFlora 2013.

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