Common Bartsia

Parentucellia latifolia (L.) Caruel

Synonyms - Bartsia latifolia

Family: Orobanchaceae (was Scrophulariaceae)

Names:

Parentucellia commemorates Tommaso Parentucelli the founder of the Rome botanic gardens.
Latifolia
Common Bartsia because it was the most common species in the Bartsia genus.

Other names:

Bartsia.

Summary:

A sticky, erect, hairy, annual herb up to 60 cm tall, with deeply toothed, opposite leaves that are often reddish. The red to purple, hooded flowers are in spikes at the top of the plant from September to November.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two

Leaves:

Opposite or nearly opposite. Well separated.
Petiole - None.
Blade - 5-21 mm long x 3-12 mm wide, egg shaped, edges bent down with 3-7 coarse teeth or lobed like the fingers on a hand. Short glandular hairs. Radiating veins are indented on top and stick out under the leaf.

Stems:

Erect, dark purple to reddish, 50-600 mm tall, branched from base or simple, elongate in late winter. Short or long glandular and multicellular hairs.

Flower head:

Single stalkless flowers in axils form a leafy spike like raceme that is interrupted toward the base and at the end of the stem. Starts as a compact spike and lengthens with age.

Flowers:

Red-purple, sticky to touch.
Ovary -
Calyx - 8-14 mm long, tubular, dark purplish green, thin, 4 veined. Triangular lobes with obtuse tips, 3-4 mm long and much shorter than the tube. Glandular hairy.
Corolla - Red to dark purple, tubular, 9-15 mm long, longer than the calyx. Upper petal short and hooded. Lower one spreading with 3 lobes and paler on the inside. Dense glandular and simple hairs on the outside.
Stamens - 4, 2 long and 2 short.
Anthers - 4, sparsely woolly on back with a tiny sharp tip.

Fruit:

Short cylindric capsule, 8-12 mm long x 2-3 mm diameter, as long as or longer than the swollen calyx. Hairless. Opens by 2 valves at top.

Seeds:

Numerous, tiny, smooth.

Roots:

Small taproot.

Key Characters:

Leaves egg shaped. Stems slender. Corolla red to purplish, 9-15 mm long, only slightly longer than the calyx. Capsule cylindric and hairless.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual. Seeds germinates from autumn to winter. Stems elongate in late winter and it flowers from late winter to spring.

Physiology:

Partially parasitic on the roots of other plants.

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Spring in western NSW.
September to November in SA.
September to October in Perth.
Spring in WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Origin and History:

Mediterranean.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, SA, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Common in wet areas.

Climate:

Temperate. Mediterranean.
Most abundant in the higher rainfall areas.

Soil:

Moist to wetter soils.

Plant Associations:

Grass lands.

Significance:

Beneficial:

Detrimental:

Weed of cereal crops, overgrazed pasture, wetlands, woodlands, granite outcrops and disturbed areas.
Semi parasitic on other plants.

Toxicity:

Possibly toxic but field cases are unconfirmed.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Remove isolated plants manually before flowering.

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Sticky Bartsia (Parentucellia viscosa) has yellow flowers, less deeply lobed leaves, stickier and greener stems and the seed pod is hairy and egg shaped.

Plants of similar appearance:

White Bartsia (Bellardia trixago) has white flowers.

References:

Davey p 438.

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P220. Photo.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P773. Diagram.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P326, 331. Diagram.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P600. Photo.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P216-217. Photo.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #931.1.

Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P589.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.