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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 790. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/12/2022)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 9/16/2020)
Contributor Text: Rubina Abid, S. Raza Mehdi & Abdul Ghafoor
Contributor Institution:

Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi


Centre for Plant Conservation, University of Karachi – Pakistan

Synonym Text:

Lasiospora Cass. in Cuvier, Dict. Sci. Nat. 25: 306. 1882; Takhtajaniantha  Nazarova in Biol. Žurn. Armenii 43: 179. 1990


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Perennial or annual,  lactiferous herbs, rarely ± shrubs. Root stocks present or absent. Stem distinct or  reduced. Leaves  in a basal rosette or alternate, simple, sessile or petiolate, basally semiamplexicaul,  linear to linear-eliptic or lanceolate and grass-like with parallel veins, entire, flat or sometimes undulate-margined. Capitula homogamous,  solitary or borne in a corymbose synflorescence. Involucre cylindrical to campanulate, mostly elongated at fruiting. Phyllaries usually few to multiseriate, imbricate, usually prolonged in fruiting stage, often with scarious margins, outer ones mostly c. half as long as inner lanceolate to linear-lanceolate inner phyllaries. Receptacle  naked. Florets mostly yellow, rarely violet or purple, hermaphrodite, with  5-toothed ligules. Anther base sagittate, style branches long with very small hairs. Cypsela + cylindrical to columnar, with numerous smooth or tuberculate longitudinal ribs, glabrous, puberulent or villous along entire length or near apices  only, apex truncate or more rarely attenuate, base usually attenuate and slightly curved. Pappus of soft, fimbriately plumose and intertwined bristles, often apically scabrid, more than 2-seriate, persistent or caduceus.

A polyphyletic genus with about c. 175 species (Mabberley, 2008), distributed mainly in Mediterranean region, central Europe to central Asia and Pakistan. Represented in Pakistan by 18 species.

 Excluded Taxa

Scorzonera mollis M. Bieb., Fl. Taur.-Cauc. 3: 522. 1819.

This species occurs mainly in Europe and extends its distribution eastwards not beyond Iran.

Scorzonera ramosissima  DC., Prodr. 7: 125. 1838.

Specimens cited by R. R. Stewart (l. c. 729) need to be reassessed and may belong to some other species of Scorzonera as S. ramosissima is probably confined to  Iran and Iraq.

Scorzonera tuberosa Pall., Reise Russ. Reich. 3: 757. 1776.

Burkill (Flow. Pl. Baluch. 45. 1911) and R. R. Stewart (l. c. 780) reports this Kazakhstan and SW Russian species  from Balochistan  citing a untraceable specimen collected by Hugh Buller (HB # 17319) from Killa Abdullah but its occurrence is doubtful, hence excluded.


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Florets yellow or yellow with purplish streaks beneath ligules.      





Florets  pinkish-purple or lilac.

16. S. papposa




Capitular buds turbinate, outer phyllaries   apically uncinate. Tuberous rootstock absent.              





Capitular buds cylindrical or tubular or funnel-shaped, outer phyllaries not uncinate. Tuberous rootstock   present or sometimes absent.







Plants densely caespitose, with few leaves. Pappus bristles 20-22, yellowish.



12. S. seidlitzii


Plants not caespitose, but densely leafy  all over. Pappus bristles 38- 40, violet.


10. S. codringtonii




Plants lanate. Cypsela with long silky hairs.     





Plants appressed arachnoid hairy, tomentose or farinose to glabrous. Cypselas  glabrous or puberulous.






Leaves 5 – 6 mm wide near base. Cypselas  c. 7 mm long. Pappus  almost as long as cypsela.


2. S. gageoides



Leaves 3 – 5 mm wide near base. Cypselas 5 – 7 mm long. Pappus two times longer than cypsela.



3. S. litwinowii




Plants perennial, with tuberous rootstock.




Plants  perennial without tuberous rootstock.       




Plants up to 10 cm tall. Leaves  elliptic to suborbicular, minutely erose-dentate on margins.



7. S. paradoxa


Plants 15 cm or more tall. Leaves lanceolate, linear-lanceolate or linear-filiform, entire, erose-crenulate or undulate on margins.







Leaves lanceolate,  undulate or wavy on margins.





Leaves linear-filiform or linear,  entire on margins.




Plants 25 cm or more tall. Tubers ovoid to oblong-ovoid. Involucre c. 10  mm wide. Pappus bristles 11 – 12 mm long, brown.




6. S. ferganica


Plants up to 20 cm tall. Tubers elliptic to     globular.  Involucre  c. 7 mm wide. Pappus  bristles 15 – 18 mm  long, grayish.




8. S. raddeana



Tubers oblong, c. 1.5 cm wide, covered with scales. Phyllaries  2-seriate, inner ones 6 – 10  mm wide.  Cypselas 14 – 16 mm long with brown  pappus bristles.




9. S. tunicate


Tubers globose, 2.5 cm wide, not covered with  scales. Phyllaries 3-seriate,  inner ones 3 – 4 mm wide.   Cypselas 9 – 12 mm long with silky white pappus bristles.          .                                              




11. S. pusilla




Leaves on 1-1.5 cm long petiole, lanceolate, 1-3 cm wide. Phyllaries purple-margined. Pappus violaceous.



17. S. pachycephala



Leaves sessile, linear-lanceolate or linear-filiform, up to 3 mm wide. Phyllaries not Purple-margined. Pappus dirty-white or brown.                                             






Branches few and not intricate, leaves linear-lanceolate, 20-30 cm long, involucre 3-seriate.   



4. S. virgata



Branches numerous and intricate, leaves linear to filiform, up to 15 cm long. Involucre 2-seriate.






Undershrub, branches thick and more divergent.                                   




Herb, branches thin and less divergent.





Peduncles highly flexible and circinate.

13. S. koelpinioides



Peduncles rigid or less flexible and not circinate.





Peduncles 4 – 10  cm long, all upward directed and parallel. Cypsela 10-ribbed, not muricate.      



 1. S. intricata



Peduncle 4 – 6  cm long, all divergent. Cypsela 4-ribbed, muricate.



5. S. tortuosissima



Outer phyllaries dark-spotted at apices.

Pappus bristles >16 mm long.


15. S. longipapposa



Outer phyllaries not dark-spotted at apices. Pappus bristles up to 16 mm long.






Semiprostrate herb, stem and peduncles flexible. Capitula bending towards the lower side. Cypsela not muricate.



14. S. baluchistanica



Erect herb, stem and peduncles rigid. Capitula not bending towards the lower side. Cypsela slightly muricate.               


18. S. hondae


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