Xanthium spinosum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAsteraceaeXanthiumXanthium spinosum


An annual occurring on waste ground, rubbish tips, in sewage works and railway sidings. It is usually casual, sometimes persisting for a few years. It generally arises from wool shoddy or bird-seed. Lowland.



World Distribution

Native of S. America; widely naturalised elsewhere.

Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Clement (1981b)
Meusel H, Jäger EJ
1992.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.