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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 863. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/7/2022)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 12/27/2021)
Contributor Text: Roohi Abid & M. Qaiser & Rubina Abid
Contributor Institution:

Centre for Plant Conservation, University of Karachi – Pakistan


Department of Botany, ‎University of Karachi, Karachi

Synonym Text:

Trimorpha Cass., Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris. 1917: 137. 1817; Phalacroloma Cass. in F. Cuvier, Dict. Sci. Nat. 39: 404. 1826; Polyactis Less., Syn. Gen. Compos. 203. 1832.


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Annual to biennial or perennial herbs or under–shrubs, usually with caudex or rhizomes. Plant variously pubescent or glabrescent. Stem erect, usually branched, prostrate, somewhat ascending, hairy –glabrous. Leaves basal and cauline,  basal leaves in rosette, spathulate – oblanceolate,  lanceolate –linear, lobed or unlobed, entire, serrate or crenate – sparingly toothed, acute–obtuse or mucronate, hairy or glabrous; cauline leaves alternate, linear–lanceolate, sometimes spathulate, lobed or unlobed, entire, serrate–sparingly toothed, acute–obtuse, attenuate or semiamplexicaul. Capitula usually radiate, sometimes disciform or very rarely discoid (not in our species), solitary – many, arranged in corymbose, subcorymbose –thrysoid or in laxly racemiform synflorescence. Involucre of various shapes, turbinate to hemispheric or sometimes cylindric to subcylindric or urceolate, imbricate, herbaceous. Phyllaries 2–5 seriate, linear–lanceolate to linear, membranous, outer shorter, campanulate or all equal with 1 (–3), yellow to red or purplish mid veins. Receptacle flat to somewhat convex, epaleate, alveolate. Ray florets numerous, 1–5–seriate, female, fertile, ligule white, blue or pink, purple–violet, rarely yellow, cylindrical or filiform, sometimes inconspicuous or distinctly expanded or strap shaped. Eligulate female florets present (between  ray and disc florets) or absent. Disc florets bisexual, usually numerous, yellow, corolla tubular, 5–lobed. Style appendages lanceolate, acute or obtuse. Cypselas oblong–obovoid, compressed glabrous or pubescent, 2 or (–4) ribbed, ribs often orange. Pappus uni or biseriate, sometimes outer row reduced to  scales, very short, inner row of fine, mostly fragile, barbellate or barbellulate bristles.

A genus of about 400 species, distributed in both the Americas and Eurasia. Represented in Pakistan by 25 species.

Excluded Taxa

Erigeron jaeschkei Vierharpper in Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 19: 491. 1906.

Stewart l. c. reported this species from Kashmir and cited his own specimen, Phalgam, Kashmir RRS 21713 (RAW) under E. jaeschkei Vierh. We have examined this specimen and agree with the opinion of Mattfeld of Berlin that it belongs to E. kumaonensis (Vierh.) Wend.

Erigeron alpinus L., Sp. Pl. 864. 1753.

In Indo–Pakistan subcontinent E. alpinus L. is a misunderstood species. Previous workers like Hooker (1881) in his Flora of British India reported this species from Western Himalayas. Stewart l. c. (1972) rightly mentioned it as “species aggregate” as quite number of different taxa from our region are placed under the canopy of E. alpinus L. The type of E. alpinus L. is described from Alps mountains, Europe and it is distributed in the mountains of Southern and Central Europe. The distribution of this Linnean species clearly indicates that it does not reach to Western Himalayas. The eastern most limit of E. alpinus seems to be Bulgaria and in the South it reaches upto Greece. Botschantzev (1999) in Flora USSR extended its distribution to Kurdistan and Armenia, which seems to be quite unlikely as neither it is reported from Turkey nor from Iraq.


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Female eligulate florets between ray and disc florets present.



Female eligulate florets absent.




Plants with thin, glabrous-subglabrous stem, polycephalous. Branches leafy and gradually reduced. Leaves 3-5 cm long. Inner phyllaries distinctly bearded at the apex. Ligules inconspicuous, ca 2 mm long.

2. E. leptocladus


Plants with moderately thick stem and branches, pilose-hirsute, intermixed with glandular hairs. Leaves up to 12 cm long. Inner phyllaries moderately to densely hairy but not bearded at the apex. Ligules conspicuous, 4.5 - 10 mm long.




Plants dark green or blackened on drying. Cauline leaves usually broad, rounded at the base, semi amplexicaul. Peduncles often thickened at the apex. Corolla tube of ray florets long hairy.



Plants green-light green, not blackened on drying. Cauline leaves narrow, attenuate at the base. Peduncles not thickened at the apex. Corolla tube of ray florets not hairy.




Stem and branches almost glabrous. Basal leaves spathulate, attenuate into a winged petiole.

4. E. kumaonensis


Stem and branches hispid-pilose, intermixed with glandular hairs. Basal leaves lanceolate to oblong, petiole not winged.

5. E. semibarbatus



Ray florets purplish–rosy, pink or white. Disc florets 3.5-5.5 (-6) mm long. Eligulate florets numerous. Cauline leaves erect, not appressed to the stem.



Ray florets blue–violet. Disc florets 3-3.5 mm long. Eligulate florets few. Cauline leaves erect-patent, somewhat appressed to the stem.

3. E. cyanctis



Ligules almost equalling or slightly longer than disc florets. Phyllaries dark green or blackish green. Cypselas up to 2 mm long.

6. E. acris


Ligules distinctly longer than disc florets. Phyllaries reddish-green. Cypselas upto 3 mm long.




Stem flexuous, branched, upto 45 cm tall. Leaves coriaceous, almost glabrous on either side or ciliate at the margins only. Basal leaves linear-lanceolate. Inner phyllaries almost equalling to disc florets. Disc florets (4.5-) 5-6 mm long.

1. E. schmalhausenii


Stem not flexuous, mostly unbranched, ca 20 cm tall. Leaves not coriaceous, densely hirsute-crisped hairy on both sides. Basal leaves oblanceolate-lanceolate. Inner phyllaries longer than disc florets. Disc florets ca 5 mm long.

25. E. sp.A



Ray florets 1-3 seriate. Ligule of ray florets slender and distinctly expanded or strap - shaped. Pappus biseriate.



Ray florets 4-5 seriate. Ligule of ray florets filiform or sometimes short or inconspicuous. Pappus uniseriate.




Leaves glabrous or setulose and marginally pilose. Disc florets 4-lobed.

22. E. canadensis


Leaves densely pilose-hirsute. Disc florets 5-lobed.




Lower cauline leaves serrate-lobed. Peduncle 3-6 mm long. Pappus bristles straw coloured.

23. E. sumatrensis


Lower cauline leaves entire-serrate. Peduncle 8-15 mm long. Pappus bristles usually brownish-reddish.

24. E. bonariensis



Ray florets yellow.

15. E. auranticus


Ray florets purple, pink, blue or white but not yellow.




Plants prostrate-ascending, forming interlaced mats. Leaves 3-5 lobed, margins serrate.

10. E. karvinskianus


Plants mostly erect, rarely ascending. Leaves unlobed, margins entire-remotely denticulate or 2-4 toothed.




Dwarf, caespitose 2–3 (-6) cm tall, biennial - short lived perennial herbs. Basal leaves linear - subspathulate, basal and cauline leaves almost equalling. Ray florets not radiate.

19. E. lonchophyllus


Perennial tall herbs, not caespitose, if caespitose then plant 20-60 cm tall (E. himalajensis and E. pseudocriocephalus). Basal leaves mostly lanceolate, spathulate-oblanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, elliptic, and rarely linear, cauline leaves smaller than basal leaves. Ray florets radiate.




Capitula large, 2.5-4 cm across. Ray florets (10-) 13-15 (-20) mm long.



Capitula < 2.5 cm across. Ray florets upto 10 mm long.




Ray florets light-dark pink, mauve purplish, white. Cypselas ca 3 mm long, oblanceolate-oblong, inner bristles of pappus 4.5-5 mm long.

20. E. caucasicus ssp. venustus


Ray florets purple-liliac. Cypselas 1.5-2 mm long, oblong-obovoid, inner bristles of pappus 2.5-3 (-4) mm long.

8. E. multiradiatus



Plants either completely glabrous or at least leaves glabrous, sometimes ciliate at margins only.



Plants not as above, moderately-densely hirsute-villose or crisped hairy.




Plants woody at the base, densely branched, upper part of the branches sparsely leafy or almost without leaves. Lower leaves linear, entire. Ray florets blue, almost equalling the pappus. Pappus brown.

9. E. angustissimum


Plants not woody at the base, usually scapigerous, sparingly branched. Leaves lanceolate-obovate, entire-coarsely tooth-ed or crenate. Ray florets purple-pink or white, twice as long as the pappus. Pappus reddish brown.




Plants up to 10 cm long, scapigerous, occasionally branched. Capitula 1-1.5 cm across. Leaves 1.5-2.5 (-3) cm long, 3-5 (-7) mm wide.

12. E. monticolus


Plants up to 35 cm long, not scapigerous, usually branched, branches leafy. Capitula 1.5-2 (-2.25) cm across. Leaves 4-7 cm long, 7-12 mm wide.

13. E. bellidioides



Capitula always solitary. Plants 5-10 (-15) cm tall.



Capitula usually more than one, rarely one. Plants (18-) 20-40 (-60) cm tall.




Involucre purplish, indumentum colourless or white on drying. Basal leaves spathulate. Ray florets rosy-purple.

14. E. uniflorus


Involucre blackened, yellow on drying. Basal leaves oblanceolate-oblong or linear. Ray florets bluish violet or white.

7. E. petroiketes



Plants arcuate-ascending, intricately branched at the base, 1.5-2 cm long. Leaves heteromorphic, remotely serrate, toothed or crenate, rarely entire. Phyllaries blackish-blackish green, up to 5 mm long, sparsely hirsute-glabrous, eglandular.

16. E. anisophyllus


Plants erect, not intricately branched, 3-5 cm long. Leaves isomorphic mostly entire. Phyllaries green or dark purplish, up to 7 mm long, densely hirsute or crisped pilose-villose, glandular.




Ray florets dark blue-violet.

18. E. cedretorum


Ray florets purple - pink, rosy or pale rosy-white.




Capitula few, (2–5), rarely solitary, 2-3.5 cm across. Cauline leaves broader, 1.2-1.5 cm wide, ovate-lanceolate. Involucre sparsely-densely white pilose-hirsute.

20. E. caucasicus

subsp. venustus


Capitula many in corymbiform synflorescence, 0.8-2 cm across. Cauline leaves narrower, 0.3-0.7 cm wide, oblanceolate, oblong-linear or linear-lanceolate. Involucre crisped hairy-laxly villose or shaggy.




Plants branched from the middle to upper half. Petiole 3-4.5 cm long, winged, almost equalling or longer than lamina. Leaves entire or with 1-2 small teeth on either side. Peduncle slender.

21. E. himalajensis


Plants branched from the base or above but not from the middle. Petiole 1-1.5 cm long, not winged, smaller than the lamina. Leaves entire. Peduncle not slender.




Peduncle and involucre densely hirsute-pilose, villous (shaggy). Capitula 0.8-1.5 cm across. Ray florets ca 6 mm long including 2-2.5 mm long corolla tube. Pappus 4-5 mm long.

17. E. griersonii


Peduncle and involucre long crisped-laxly villose. Capitula (1.5-) 2-2.5 cm across. Ray florets 7-9 mm long including 3-4 mm long corolla tube. Pappus 6-7.5 mm long.

11. E. pseuderio-cephalus

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