Xanthium spinosum L.


Genus: Xanthium

Catalan common name: Aferragós. Cadells. Catxurros. Coscorros. Enganxadones. Enganxagossos. Espina-xoca. Floravia. Gafets. Herba de tres claus. Llagastes. Llapasa petita. Rioles espinoses.

Spanish common name: Cachurrera menor. Cepacaballo. Pegotes.

Province distribution: Alacant. Balearic Islands. Barcelona. Castelló. Girona. Lleida. Tarragona. València.

Distribution in the islands: Mallorca. Menorca. Ibiza.

IUCN Category: LCLeast concern

Flowering time: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Life-forms: Terophyte.

Habitats: Cultivated fields, path and road sides, disturbed zones. Path and road sides.

Characteristics: An annual plant, it has characteristic strong, spiny leaf emergences at the leaf base, leaves are narrow (in comparison with the rest of the species that pertain to this genus), are deeply lobed and are green on the upper side and white on the reverse. The female capitula are also very characteristic, and are ovate and covered with spiny emergences. Live in very disturbed areas and flowers from the summer to the fall. Can be distinguished from other Xanthium species, as the rest do not have spiny emergences. The genus Xanthium is one of the few examples that we can find amongst the composites that has both unisexual as well as very well defined capitula, the female capitula area are formed only by two flowers and as mentioned are in the form of ovate sphere (somewhat like the shape of a rugby ball) and are covered with spiny emergences. The male capitula are located on separate individuals are globate. This species was introduced from South America.