105. Aster brachytrichus Franchet, J. Bot. (Morot). 10: 372. 1896.
短毛紫菀 duan mao zi wan
Aster bodinieri H. Léveillé.
Herbs, perennial, 10-50 cm tall, sometimes caespitose; rhizomes robust, woody. Stems erect, simple, densely pilose proximally and apically, sparsely to moderately so at midstem, moderately to densely minutely stipitate glandular, usually regularly leafy. Leaves basal and cauline; cauline leaves slightly and gradually reduced upward, sparsely to moderately pilose or glabrous, veins villous abaxially, margin sparsely shallowly serrate or serrulate, sometimes entire, pilose-ciliate, triplinerved abaxially, veins slightly prominent; basal leaves usually withered at anthesis, long petiolate (petiole to 4 cm); blade spatulate to obovate or oblanceolate, 1-6 × 0.6-3.5 cm, base attenuate, apex rounded to obtuse; lower and middle cauline leaves sessile, ovate or ovate-lanceolate to oblong, 2-7 × 0.5-3 cm, base rounded or attenuate, subclasping, apex rounded to acute; upper leaves ovate to linear-lanceolate, 1-3.5 × 0.2-1.8 cm. Capitula terminal, solitary, 3-7.5 cm in diam. Involucres hemispheric, 1-2 cm in diam., overtopping disk florets; phyllaries 2- or 3-seriate, subequal, squarrose, 10-13 × 1-4 mm, sparsely pilose to glabrate, sometimes inner phyllaries sparsely minutely stipitate glandular distally, margin whitish, pilose-ciliate; outer phyllaries linear-lanceolate to oblong, leaflike, apex acute to obtuse; inner phyllaries linear-lanceolate to linear, apex long acuminate. Ray florets 30-60, blue to purplish, tube less than ca. 1 mm, lamina 15-35 × 1-3 mm, glabrous, eglandular; disk florets orange becoming reddish, 3.5-5 mm, limb funnelform becoming ± campanulate distally, 2.5-4 mm, glabrous, lobes spreading, narrowly triangular, 0.8-1.5 mm. Achenes obovoid, ± compressed, 2.5-4 mm, glabrous, sparsely minutely stipitate glandular apically, margin winged, 2-ribbed, plus sometimes 2- or 3-ribbed on each side. Pappus series reduced, indistinguishable, sometimes basally fused, purple brown to brown; bristles flattened, barbellate throughout, 1-4 mm, acute. Fl. Jun-Aug, fr. Aug-Oct.
Alpine meadows, mountain slopes, alpine coniferous forests, Pinus forests, thickets, pastures; 2500-4900 m. Guizhou, SW Sichuan, N and NW Yunnan [N Myanmar].
Aster brachytrichus is difficult to distinguish from A. jeffreyanus.
Leaf shape and vestiture and capitula size are variable within the species and have been used as the basis for the varieties recognized in the species. However, there seems to be a continuum in all the features used to partition the variation, and phenotypic plasticity could account for some of it. A thorough morphometric analysis would be needed to determine which varieties deserve recognition. The four varieties recognized are distinguished as follows.
Aster brachytrichus var. tenuiligulatus Y. Ling (Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 74: 360. 1985; 细舌短毛紫菀 xi she duan mao zi wan; 2600-3500 m. NW Guizhou, SW Sichuan) has oblong leaves densely hispidulous adaxially, with rounded apex, and smaller capitula (3-3.5 cm in diam.), with involucres ca. 1 cm in diam. and ray floret lamina ca. 15 × 1 mm. The other three varieties have leaves adaxially glabrous or sparsely hispidulous and larger capitula (4-7.5 cm in diam.), with involucres 1.5-2 cm in diam. and ray floret lamina 15-35 × 1-3 mm. Aster brachytrichus var. angustisquamus Y. Ling (Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 74: 360. 1985; 狭苞短毛紫菀 xia bao duan mao zi wan; ca. 2700 m; NW Yunnan: Zhongdian) has linear phyllaries 1.5-2 mm wide, while A. brachytrichus var. brachytrichus and A. brachytrichus var. latifolius have linear-lanceolate phyllaries 2.3-4 mm wide. Aster brachytrichus var. brachytrichus (短毛紫菀(原变种) duan mao zi wan (yuan bian zhong); 2500-3500 m) has middle cauline leaves 2-6 × 0.5-2.5 cm, with a rounded or somewhat acute apex, but leaf shape is variable; plants with a remotely serrate leaf margin have sometimes been segregated as A. brachytrichus var. oreaster Onno. Aster brachytrichus var. latifolius Y. Ling (Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 74: 360. 1985; 宽叶 短毛紫菀 kuan ye duan mao zi wan; ca. 3000 m; NW Yunnan: Lijiang, Yulong Shan) has middle cauline leaves 7-9 × 2.5-4.5 cm, with a rounded apex.