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Useful Temperate Plants

Xanthium spinosum

L.

Asteraceae

+ Synonyms

Acanthoxanthium spinosum Fourr.

Xanthium armatum Humb. & Bonpl. ex Wallr.

Xanthium brachyacanthum Wallr.

Xanthium canadense Sabbat. ex Nyman

Xanthium canescens Widder

Xanthium catharticum Kunth.

Xanthium chrysacanthum Costa ex Widder

Xanthium xanthocarpum Wallr.

Common Name: Spiny Cocklebur

No Image.

General Information

Xanthium spinosum is a much branched annual herb, generally erect and somewhat woody, often 30 - 60cm tall, but sometimes up to 100cm tall and 150cm wide[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Xanthium spinosum is a highly invasive plant classified as one of the world's worst weeds, and is now widely distributed throughout many regions of the world, where it is a common agricultural and pasture weed and a declared noxious species in many countries. Originating in South America, it has spread widely, probably via its spiked seeds which attach to animals and clothing or are a contaminant of hay or other products. It produces prolific amounts of seed that germinate easily. The plant can quickly dominate large areas, outcompeting crops, forage plants and native flora. Control is possible but requires significant effort[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Known Hazards

Poisonous[
65
Title
A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Frohne. D. and Pfänder. J.
Publisher
Wolfe
Year
1984
ISBN
0723408394
Description
Brilliant. Goes into technical details but in a very readable way. The best work on the subject that I've come across so far.
,
76
Title
Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man.
Publication
 
Author
Cooper. M. and Johnson. A.
Publisher
HMSO
Year
1984
ISBN
0112425291
Description
Concentrates mainly on the effects of poisonous plants to livestock.
]. Most members of this genus are toxic to grazing animals and are usually avoided by them[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-395-46722-5
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
]. The seed also contains toxins[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-395-46722-5
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

S. America - Chile, ?Argentina. Widespread as a weed through the subtropical and temperate zones.

Habitat

Damp or seasonally wet, alkaline soils, waste places, margins of agriculture;; at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. Found mainly in a variety of disturbed habits caused by anthropogenic activity[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Xanthium spinosum has proved remarkably adaptable to a wide range of climates and other environmental conditions, with the exception only of very cold polar/tundra conditions and very hot and dry or moist lowland tropical climates. In tropical regions it is generally only found at high elevations[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, preferring moist conditions and requiring a sunny position[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]..
Plants often self sow.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The whole plant is an active styptic for both local and general application[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. It is said to be a valuable and sure specific in the treatment of hydrophobia[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. The plant is also diaphoretic, diuretic and sedative[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
].

An infusion of the root has been used as an emetic[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ. The seed requires plenty of moisture in order to germinate.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-08-17. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Xanthium+spinosum>

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