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Published In: Annales du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle 16: 156, 198–203, pl. 10–13. 1810. (Jul-Dec 1810) (Ann. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/20/2022)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 1/8/2021)
Contributor Text: Abdul Ghafoor, M. Qaiser & Roohi Abid
Contributor Institution: Centre for Plant Conservation, University of Karachi – PAKISTAN
Synonym Text:

Aplotaxis DC. in Guill., Arch. Bot. 2: 330. 1833 et in Prodr. 6: 538. 1838; Cyathidium  Lindl. ex Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. 1:251. 1835.


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Spineless, acaulescent to medium-sized perennial or rarely biennial or annual herbs or rarely shrublets with alternate, simple, entire to pinnatisect, rarely bipinnatifid, decurrent leaves. Capitula homogamous, campanulate to ovoid, discoid, solitary or corymbose and concealed in uppermost leaves or wool or in panicles. Phyllaries multiseriate, usually appressed imbricate, or outer ones divergent or deflexed, unarmed, apically acute-acuminate or ± obtuse, unappendaged. Receptacle flat or convex, densely or laxly beset with subulate bristles or short papillae, rarely naked. Florets bisexual, all fertile, red, purple, violet, pink or white. Corolla narrowly tubular with limb narrowly campanulate, deeply 5-lobed. Anthers caudate, ciliate or  woolly at the base, apically acute-appendaged, on free, glabrous filaments. Cypselas obovoid, or oblong-cylindrical, smooth or rugose, glabrous, 4-ribbed or angled, rarely with a coronula at the apices, hilum basal. Pappus usually biseriate, outer row bristles short, free, simple and (uni-) biseriate, scabrid or ± plumose, deciduous; the inner row of bristles much longer, exceeding the outer phyllaries, basally connate into a ring, plumose, persistent.

A large genus of ca 300 species, distributed in temperate Eurasia, North America,  and naturalized in Northern Australia.  Represented in our area by  29 species. 


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Synflorescence or capitula totally enveloped or half enclosed or      subtended by yellowish, red or purple membranous uppermost leaves of involucel. Leaves always undivided or undissected.






Synflorescence or capitula not enveloped or half enclosed and subtended by coloured uppermost leaves of involucel. Leaves undivided or undissected to pinnatisect.







Uppermost stem leaves membranous, usually more than 3 cm wide, pale-yellow,  connivant and enveloping laxly corymbiform synflorescence.  Corolla 9 – 13 mm long.





1. S. obvallata


Uppermost stem leaves and bracts yellowish or greenish with  purple, pale-rose tinge, usually less than 3 cm wide. Corolla  15 – 20 mm long.






Capitula 3-5 (-8) in corymbiform synflorescence, lower half by uppermost, irregularly dentate cauline leaves of synflorescence.




2. S. schultzii


Capitula solitary, subtended and surrounded in lower half of involucre by aggregated, entire, coloured leaves.





Radical and cauline leaves narrowly linear, 4 – 18 cm long, 1 – 4 mm  broad. Involucre campanulate with black  phyllaries. Receptacular bristles 4.2 – 6 mm long. Corolla purple. Cypselas straw-coloured, black spotted.





3. S. hookeri


Leaves narrowly elliptic to ovate elliptic, 3 – 7 cm long, 0.8 – 2  cm broad. Involucre narrowly campanulate to obconic with silky hairy phyllaries. Receptacular bristles (1.3–) 1.5 – 2 mm long. Corolla purplish red. Cypselas straw-coloured but not black  spotted.





4. S. bracteata



Stem usually widened or expanded towards apices, becoming club-shaped and hollow. Capitula usually borne in densely congested or rarely an interrupted spike-like or corymb-like synflorescence, densely surrounded by cottony long  hairs of subtending leaves or subtended by uppermost leaves.








Stem not widened or expanded towards apices, not becoming club-shaped or hollow. Capitula borne in corymbose, paniculate or raceme-like synflorescence or solitary terminal on  stem or branches, not surrounded by dense cottony long hairs or uppermost leaves.









Plants shortly stemmed, always monocarpic. Caudex simple, bearing a single terminal rosette.





Plants usually with a well-developed stem, monocarpic or polycarpic, sometimes almost stemless then always polycarpic.           







Leaves fleshy becoming leathery and rigid on drying, glabrous on abaxial side, sparsely arachnoid on adaxial side. Phyllaries purplish red, glabrous. Corolla bluish purple.





5. S. thomsonii


Leaves not fleshy, whitish lanate-densely sericeous on abaxial side. Phyllaries not purplish red, villous-lanate. Corolla rose purple to purplish red.







Leaves densely lanate with yellowish brown or whitish matted hairs on adaxial side. Outer phyllaries apically densely yellowish brown and lanate. Receptacle without bristles. Pappus uniseriate, yellowish brown.





6. S. depsangensis


Leaves white and densely sericeous to lanate on adaxial side. Outer phyllaries apically purple and villous. Receptacle bristles 1-2 mm long. Pappus biseriate, outer dirtly white.




7. S. aster



Synflorescence concealed in lanate indumentum at anthesis, 7–10 cm broad. Capitula densely aggregated on flat or convex stem apex, surrounded by much exceeding lanate bracts.





8. S. gossipiphora


Synflorescence not concealed in lanate indumentum at anthesis, 2–4 (–7) cm broad. Capitula exposed on stem apex, not exceeded by densely lanate bracts.







Leaves fan shaped, rhombic or ovoid. Cypselas black – dark brown.



9. S. medusa


Leaves not as above, linear oblong, narrowly obovate to spathulate. Cypselas brown pale brown.






Pappus dull dark brown, mouse gray or blackish.





Pappus white, dirty white or straw coloured, light brown or brown.






Rosette and lower stem leaves green, glabrescent with elongated green petioles, entire or obtusely sinuate-dentate margins. Outer pappus bristles reflexed and appressed on the cypsela.





10. S. inversa


Rosette and lower stem leaves whitish, densely tomentose, with purple petioles and shallowly crenate margins. Outer pappus bristles not reflexed but usually erect.     




11. S. gnaphalodes



Plants stemless or short stemmed, usually < 10 cm tall. Upper stem leaves surrounding the capitula, elliptic, with obtuse or rounded apices, neither reflexed nor purplish or dark violet.





12. S. glacialis


Plants usually with distinct, erect, usually > 10 cm tall flowering stem. Upper stem leaves linear with acute apices, densely lanate on both sides, uppermost leaves surrounding the capitula usually reflexed, purplish and dark violet.





13. S. simpsoniana



Shrublets, virgately much branched from the base.





Perennial herbs or rarely subshrubs, never virgately branched.






Leaves monomorphic, not punctate glandular, all narrowly linear and revolute margined, 1 – 2 mm wide, lower ones fasciled, upper erect to patent. Capitula solitary at apices of shoots. Inner phyllaries linear-lanceolate, 6.5 – 8 mm long, 2.5 – 3 mm broad. Cypselas glabrous.






14. S. leptophylla


Leaves dimorphic, punctate glandular on both sides, lower oblanceolate or elliptic-linear, 2.5 – 5 mm wide, uppermost linear, 2 – 3 mm wide. Capitula many, terminal at the apices of shoots and branchlets also in paniculate synflo-rescence. Inner phyllaries linear-oblong, 10 – 12 mm long, 1 – 1.5 mm broad. Cypselas glandulose.







15. S. chondrilloides



Leaves linear-subulate, 1-2 (-3) mm wide.





Leaves of various shapes but not linear-subulate, 5 mm or more wide.






Leaves discolorous. Receptacular bristles absent. Corolla purple. Inner bristles of pappus 10-13 mm long.


26. S. graminifolia


Leaves concolorous. Receptacular bristles brown, ca 1 mm long. Corolla purplish red. Inner bristles of pappus 7-8 mm long.



18. S. subulata



Leaves densely covered with stipitate glands on both sides.


16. S. schlagintweitii


Leaves eglandular or if glands present then glands sessile.





Sessile glands present at least on one side of the leaves.





Leaves completely eglandular.




Leaves with winged petiole, undivided, sessile glands present on both sides. Phyllaries 34–seriate. Corolla mauve or reddish purple. Cypselas pale brown with minute pale glands.





19. S. elliptica


Leaves with unwinged petiole, lyrately pinnately dissected with large terminal lobe, sessile glands present dorsally. Phyllaries 57seriate. Corolla pale purple. Cypsela reddish brown, glabrous.





20. S. salsa



Leaves concolorous, green on both sides.



Leaves discolorous, green above, greyish-white below.





Plants upto 100 (110) cm tall. Capitula 10–20 in terminal corymbs like synflorescence.



21. S. candolleana


Plants small upto 50 cm tall. Capitula solitary terminal or 1–3 in the middle of leaf rosettes.






Plants upto 50 cm tall. Cypselas 5-6 mm long.



25. S. roylei


Plants upto 6 cm tall. Cypselas 2.5-4 mm.





Leaves leathery, unlobed, dentate to serrate on margins, densely beset with stout rigid brown multicellular hairs on the veins beneath. Involucre cylindrical or oblong. Phyllaries pale green, purplish black at apices and margins. Corolla blue.




17. S. atkinsonii


Leaves not leathery, mostly lobed. No such hairs present. Involucre campanulate. Phyllaries purplish or reddish purple. Corolla purplish-red.



22. S. andryaloides



Capitula 10-20 in terminal corymb-like synflorescence.


21. S. candolleana


Capitula solitary terminal, rarely 2.




Leaves unlobed, upto 8 (10) mm broad, ± revolute margined.


23. S. stenophylla


Leaves pinnately lobed-pinnatisect, more than 10 mm broad, not revolute margined.





Stem unbranched, upto 50 cm tall. Phyllaries blackish or very dark green.



27. S. taraxacifolia


Stem either very short (2–3) cm or upto 30 cm, branched. Phyllaries neither blackish nor very dark green.





Corolla purplish red. Phyllaries glabrous.


24. S. leontodontoides


Corolla purple, blue. Phyllaries densely to sparsely hairy.






Plants with distinct stem, upto 30 cm tall. Petioles winged. Phyllaries greenish not purplish red.



28. S. falconeri


Plant almost stemless. Petioles not winged. Phyllaries purplish red.


29. S. stoliczkae

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