Information on Two-spined Acaena

Common Name: Two-spined Acaena
Scientific Name: Acaena ovalifolia
Irish Name: Spíochnó
Family Group: Rosaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Two-spined Acaena is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This downy perennial came to our shores all the way from New Zealand, possibly in the company of imported wool. It has established itself in a few areas of Ireland, generally favouring disturbed ground, woodland paths and coastal areas. A creeping, undershrub which reaches about 15 cm high, it bears solitary, compact, spherical heads of tiny, white flowers on upright stems in June and July. The handsome, toothed, glossy green leaves are pinnately divided with three to four pairs of leaflets. The plant cleverly spreads itself by means of red, spiny seeds which grip onto animals’ fur and our shoes and socks. This plant belongs to the Rosaceae family.

I first recorded this plant in beautiful Glenveagh National Park, County Donegal in 2010 when I also photographed it

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Acaena, Two-spined
Acaena, Two-spined