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Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur

Acaena anserinifolia

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
15 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, mountains, roadsides, wasteland.

Variable in colour, no petals
Petalless flowers. Flowers range from green, white to purple. 4 sepals. Pollinated by the wind.
Ball-shaped fruit, covered in many prickly spines. Seeds easily stick to animal fur when they brush against them.
A perennial garden escape species with pinnate leaves that are bronze-tinted. Leaflets are toothed.
Other Names:
Bidibid, Cockle Button, New Zealand Burr, Piripiri, Sheep's Burr.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Acaena anserinifolia, commonly known as Sheep's Burr or Bidibid, is a species of herbaceous perennial plant in the Rosaceae family. It is native to New Zealand and can be found in a variety of habitats such as grasslands, forest edges, and alpine tundra. The plant has small, green leaves and small, inconspicuous pink or white flowers that grow in clusters. It typically grows as a low-lying groundcover and is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens, particularly for its attractive leaves and flowers. It's not known to have any medicinal use, it's not recommended for any use.


Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, scientifically known as Acaena anserinifolia, is a low-growing perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Rosaceae. This plant is native to New Zealand and can be found growing in open areas, rocky slopes, and disturbed habitats.

The Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is known for its unique bronze-colored foliage, which adds a splash of color to any garden or landscape. The leaves are small, narrow, and serrated, measuring about 1-2 cm in length. They grow in a rosette pattern, forming a dense carpet-like mat that can spread up to one meter in diameter. The foliage is also aromatic, with a spicy, herbal scent that is similar to thyme.

In the summer, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur produces small, inconspicuous flowers that are borne on slender stems that rise above the foliage. The flowers are greenish-yellow in color and are not very showy. However, they are followed by small, spiky fruits that are about the size of a pea. These fruits are covered in hooked bristles that allow them to stick to clothing or fur, making them easy to spread and disperse.

Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is a hardy plant that requires minimal maintenance. It prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate drought conditions, making it an excellent choice for xeriscaping. It is also resistant to deer and other grazing animals, making it a good option for gardens located in rural or wild areas.

In addition to its ornamental value, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur has been used for medicinal purposes by the Maori people of New Zealand. The leaves and stems of the plant were brewed into a tea and used to treat various ailments, including digestive problems and respiratory issues.

Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is also a valuable plant for ecological restoration projects. In New Zealand, where it is native, it is commonly used to stabilize slopes and prevent erosion, especially in disturbed areas. Its ability to form dense mats of foliage helps to suppress the growth of invasive plant species, making it an important tool for conservation efforts.

In addition to its ecological benefits, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is also popular with pollinators. Its flowers provide a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects, making it an important part of local ecosystems.

While Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is generally easy to grow and maintain, it can become invasive in some areas, particularly in regions with mild climates. As such, it is important to research local regulations and best practices before introducing this plant to a new garden or landscape.

Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is also known for its ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and soil types, making it an excellent choice for gardens located in areas with variable weather patterns. It is also a useful plant for erosion control, as its shallow root system helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion in areas with steep slopes or loose soil.

One interesting aspect of Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is its use in traditional Maori medicine. The Maori people have long used the plant to treat a variety of ailments, including cuts, bruises, and respiratory issues. They would often brew the leaves and stems into a tea, which was then consumed or applied topically to the affected area.

In terms of cultivation, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is generally easy to grow and maintain. It prefers full sun to partial shade and can be grown in a wide range of soil types, as long as the soil is well-draining. It is also drought-tolerant, making it an excellent choice for gardens located in regions with low rainfall.

Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is a plant that can be propagated by division or by taking stem cuttings. It can also self-seed, but this can lead to it becoming invasive in some areas. To prevent this, it is recommended to deadhead the flowers before they go to seed.

One potential drawback of Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is that it can be susceptible to fungal diseases, particularly in humid conditions. To prevent this, it is important to ensure good air circulation around the plants and to avoid overwatering. If fungal issues do occur, they can often be treated with a fungicide or by removing infected plant material.

In terms of design, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of garden styles. Its low-growing habit makes it an excellent choice for groundcovers or as a border plant, while its unique foliage adds interest and texture to mixed planting schemes. It can also be grown in containers or used as a filler plant in rock gardens or other landscape features.

In conclusion, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is a valuable and versatile plant that offers a range of benefits for both gardeners and the environment. Its hardy nature, unique foliage, and medicinal properties make it an excellent choice for a wide range of garden styles and settings. Whether you are looking to add interest to your garden, prevent erosion, or restore a damaged ecosystem, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur is a plant that is definitely worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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