3. Ligularia japonica (Thunberg) Lessing, Syn. Gen. Compos. 390. 1832.
大头橐吾 da tou tuo wu
Stem erect, 50-100 cm tall, to 1 cm in diam. at base, distally and branches of synflorescence white arachnoid-puberulent or glabrous. Basal leaves petiolate; petiole grayish green, with purple spots, 20-100 cm, stout, unwinged, base sheathed; leaf blade abaxially pale green, adaxially green, reniform, ca. 40 cm in diam., abaxially initially white puberulent, glabrescent, adaxially glabrous or shortly pilose, veins palmate, palmatisect; lobes 3-5, palmatilobed; segments pinnate, margin dentate, or rarely entire. Middle and distal stem leaves smaller, shortly petiolate, sheath amplexicaul. Distalmost stem leaves without sheaths, palmatipartite. Capitula 2-8, in corymb; supplementary and leaflike bracts usually absent; peduncles to 20 cm, white floccose-puberulent. Involucre hemispheric, broader than long, 1-2.5 × 1.5-2.4 cm, outside white puberulent; phyllaries 9-12, closely imbricate, broadly oblong, to 8 mm wide, apex triangular, mucronate; inner phyllaries 2-carinate on convex outside and margin broadly membranous. Ray florets yellow; lamina oblong, 4-6.5 × ca. 1 cm; tube 7-12 mm. Tubular florets numerous, ca. 2 cm; tube ca. 1 cm. Achenes cylindric, 7-16 mm, ribbed. Pappus reddish brown, as long as tube of tubular corolla. Fl. and fr. Apr-Sep. 2n = 60.
Stream banks, grassland slopes, forest understories; 600-2300 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, ?Guizhou, ?Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Taiwan, Zhejiang [India, Japan, Korea; cultivated in North America].