A small, short-lived, herbaceous plant with upright or semi-upright stems usually growing 15-60 cm tall. Its leaves (1.5-13 cm long) are arranged in a weak rosette and alternately arranged along the stems the larger lower leaves are deeply-lobed while the smaller upper leaves are narrower and almost entire. Its narrow flower-heads (8-12 mm long) are pink or purplish in colour and do not have any obvious 'petals' its small 'seeds' are topped with a tuft of whitish coloured hairs (about 5 mm long).
Mainly naturalised in the coastal districts of south-eastern Queensland, and particularly common in the Moreton district. Widely naturalised throughout other parts of eastern Queensland and naturalised in the coastal districts of northern New South Wales.
A weed of crops, pastures, gardens, roadsides, footpaths, parks, lawns, disturbed sites and waste areas.
A small, short-lived (i.e. annual), herbaceous plant with upright or semi-upright (i.e. erect or ascending) stems usually growing 15-60 cm tall, but occasionally reaching up to 80 cm in height.
The greenish stems are round in cross-section and hairless (i.e. glabrous) or sparsely hairy (i.e. pubescent). The lower leaves are arranged in a weak rosette, with stalks (i.e. petioles) up to 3 cm long. Leaves that are produced along the stems are alternately arranged, have stem-clasping bases, and are often without stalks (i.e. sessile). The leaf blades (1.5-13 cm long and 0.8-6 cm wide) vary in shape from being deeply lobed (i.e. pinnatisect), with a larger terminal leaflet, to being broadly egg-shaped in outline (i.e. ovate) with irregularly toothed (i.e. serrate) margins. The uppermost leaves are usually much smaller, narrower (i.e. almost linear), with margins that are almost entire. Leaves can be with or without hairs, but usually have some short stiff hairs, especially when they are young.
The flower-heads (i.e. capitula) are narrow (8-12 mm long) and pink or occasionally purplish in colour. They lack any 'petals' (i.e. have no ray florets) and are borne at the tips of branched stems. Flowering mostly occurs from autumn through to spring. The 'seeds' (i.e. achenes or cypselae) are about 5 mm long with five hairy ribs running lengthwise (i.e. longitudinally). They are topped with a tuft (i.e. pappus) of whitish coloured hairs (about 5 mm long).
This species reproduces only by seed, which are easily blown and dispersed by the wind. Seeds may also be spread by machinery, water, vehicles, animals, and in clothing and contaminated agricultural produce.
A second variety of this species (i.e. Emilia sonchifolia var. sonchifolia) is also present in Queensland, but is mainly found in the northern parts of the state. These two varieties can be distinguished from each other by the following differences: Emilia sonchifolia var. javanica has flower-heads about twice as long as they are broad (10-13 mm long and 6-8 mm wide), with 8-10 green bracts at the base. Each of these flower-heads produces 25-35 seeds