Fruit features of 17 Acaena species in New Zealand were investigated to determine the relations between reproductive allocation patterns, mode of dispersal and species ecology. Three basic morphological types, corresponding to major sections within the genus, are represented: spineless fruits (Sect. Pteracaena—one species), spined fruits lacking barbs (Sect. Microphyllae—6 species), and spined fruits with barbs (Sect. Ancistrum—10 species).