Listed as a schedule 9 species under Articles 15 & 15A of the Wildlife Order (Northern Ireland) 1985 (Article 15A not yet enacted).
First reported in the wild
Invasive species - risk of Medium Impact
Introduction pathways - 1
Escape from Confinement
Introduction pathways subclass - 1
NAPRA Ireland risk assessed
Perennial plant, stems woody at the base but herbaceous distally, leaves pinnate, mat forming, typical less than 15cm (Stace, 1997). Distinguished from Acaena nocae-zelandie by leaflets, the apical pair are 10-30mm with 17-23 teeth (Stace, 1997).
Thought to impact heavily on native vegetation in the island of Juan Fernandez in South America (Tyrie, 2008) but no impacts are recorded for Ireland. As it is a densely matting plant it has the potential to smother and outcompete native vegetation (Tyrie, 2008).
Woodland, forest and other wooded land; Inland unvegetated or sparsely vegetated habitats; Grasslands and landscapes dominated by forbs, mosses or lichens
Reproduced by seed but can also reproduce vegetatively through a creeping and rooting rhizome system (Tyrie, 2008). Fruit dispersed by attaching to clothes, animals etc. via long spines (Tyrie, 2008).
Pathway and vector description
Grown in gardens as a rockery plant, introduction into the wild was likely as a result of discarded garden waste or as seeds attached to clothing or animals (Tyrie, 2008).
Mechanism of impact
Found in woodland, forestry plantations and tracks, sand dunes, railway embankments and other bare ground (Tyrie, 2008).
Established - Widespread.
Native to south America, though considered naturalised in Britain (Stace, 1997)
Date of first record category
Fifty year date category
Records submitted to Data Centre in 2020
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How can you help
Report any sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
Tyrie, C. (2008). Acaena ovalifolia In: Invasive Alien Species in Northern Ireland. National Museums Northern Ireland [Online]. Reynolds, S.C.P. (2002) A catalogue of alien plants in Ireland. National Botanic Gardens. Glasnevin, Dublin. Stace, C. (1997). New Flora of the British Isles 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.