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Rumex hypogaeus

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(Redirected from Emex australis)

Rumex hypogaeus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rumex
R. hypogaeus
Binomial name
Rumex hypogaeus

Emex australis Steinh.
Vibo australis (Steinh.) Greene

Rumex hypogaeus (synonym Emex australis), commonly known in English as southern threecornerjack,[2] devil's thorn,[citation needed] or double gee[3] (also doublegee, from the old Afrikaner name dubbeltge-doorn - 'double thorned'), is a herbaceous plant of the Polygonaceae. It is native in South Africa and is an invasive species in Australia, Texas in the USA, and Pakistan.


It grows to heights of from 10 to 60 cm and its stems may be prostrate, decumbent, or ascending. The base is often reddish. The leaves are stalked and without any surface covering, with the leaf blade being 1-10 by 0.5–6 cm. There are 1 to 8 flowers with stamens per sheathed bundle and these flowers have narrow oblong tepals which are 1.5–2 mm. The female flowers occur as groups of 1 to 4 per sheathed bundle, and the outer tepals are ovate to oblong and 4–6 mm in fruit, while the inner tepals are broadly triangular and, 5–6 mm in fruit. The achenes (dry 1-seeded fruits not opening at maturity) are 4-6 by 2–3 mm, and shiny.[4]

It flowers all year round.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It favours disturbed sites, on sandy soils. It is native to South Africa[1] and has become naturalised in California, Trinidad, Europe, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Hawaii, and Australia.[4]


Common names in Australia, where it is a weed, include: spiny emex, doublegee, double gee, double-gee, three corner jack, three-cornered jack, goat's head burr, goathead, jackie, prickly jack, cape spinach, devil's face, devil's thorn, bullhead, bull head, and cat's head.[5]


Small infestations and isolated plants of Rumex hypogaeus can be dug out. When plants are seeding then they should be destroyed by burning. Control programs work best when all plants are killed shortly after emergence, and should continue for several years.[6][5]



  1. ^ a b "Rumex hypogaeus T.M.Schust. & Reveal | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
  2. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Emex australis". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  3. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  4. ^ a b c "Emex australis in Flora of North America @ efloras.org". www.efloras.org. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
  5. ^ a b "Weeds Australia Profile: Emex australis". profiles.ala.org.au. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  6. ^ Parsons, W.T & Cuthbertson, E.G. (2001). Noxious weeds of Australia. Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]