Contrary to the views of LOVE & DANSEREAU (1959) and LOVE (1976) the authors recognise 3 species in Xanthium, viz. X. spinosum L., X. strumarium L. and X. orientate L. Within X. orientate they recognise two varieties: X. orientate L. var. albinum (Widder) Adema et M. T. Jansen and X. orientale L. var. riparium (Itz. et Hertsch) Adema et M. T. Jansen. Keys to the species and short descriptions of the varieties are given.