56. Saussurea amara (Linnaeus) Candolle, Ann. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 16: 200. 1810.
草地风毛菊 cao di feng mao ju
Herbs 9-70 cm tall, perennial. Stem solitary, 3-7 mm in diam., erect, branched, usually wingless. Lower stem leaves petiolate; leaf blade narrowly elliptic, oblong, or narrowly ovate, 4-20 × 0.7-6 cm, both surfaces green, sparsely pubescent or glabrous, and gland-dotted, base cuneate-attenuate, margin entire or obtusely sinuate-dentate, apex acute to obtuse. Middle and upper stem leaves shortly petiolate or sessile, elliptic to narrowly ovate, gradually smaller upward on stem, base cuneate and rarely auriculate. Capitula numerous, in a corymbiform or paniculiform synflorescence, pedunculate. Involucre narrowly campanulate to narrowly obconic, 0.8-1.2 cm in diam. Phyllaries in 4-6 rows, sparsely pubescent, sometimes gland-dotted; outer phyllaries ovate to narrowly ovate, 3-5 × 1-1.5 mm, apex blackish and acuminate or tricuspidate; middle and inner phyllaries narrowly elliptic to linear, 5-14 × 1-1.5 mm, appendage purple, orbicular, 0.5-1.5 mm wide, and membranous or rarely appendage lacking. Receptacle bristles 8-10 mm. Corolla pale purple, rarely white, 1.3-1.8 cm, gland-dotted, tube 8-10 mm, limb 5-7 mm, lobes 3-5 mm. Achene brown, cylindric, 3-3.5 mm, 4-ribbed. Pappus dirty white; outer bristles 1-5 mm; inner bristles 1.2-1.7 cm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Oct. 2n = 26.
Wastelands, by trails, forest steppes, steppes, saline and alkaline soils, dikes of streams, dunes, river and lake shores, sandy soils; 500-3200 m. Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan; E Europe].
The type of Saussurea tenuicaulis has the upper stem leaves with a widened auriculate base, a character not found in typical specimens of S. amara. Such plants may deserve separate taxonomic status.