8. Klasea centauroides (Linnaeus) Cassini ex Kitagawa, J. Jap. Bot. 21: 138. 1947.
麻花头 ma hua tou
Herbs (10-)25-150 cm tall. Stem erect, simple or branched, sparsely to densely crispate-pubescent near base, subglabrous in upper part, base with lacerate remains of old petioles. Leaves subglabrous to scabrid; pubescence often sparse, somewhat denser toward margin and along veins, composed of small appressed (ca. 0.2 × 0.03 mm) and larger patent (ca. 1 × 0.1 mm) multicellular hairs. Basal and lower stem leaves petiolate. Upper leaves sessile. Capitula 1 to many. Involucre 0.6-3 cm in diam. Phyllaries imbricate, in 4-10 rows; outer and middle phyllaries 2-11 × 1.5-5(-6) mm, without an apical spine or with a 0.2-2 mm spinule. Corolla purple to pink, rarely almost white, 2-3 cm. Achene brown to pale brown, cuneate-ellipsoid to obliquely cuneate, 4.5-6 mm, faintly ribbed. Pappus 7-11 mm. Fl. and fr. May-Oct.
Mountain slopes, steppes, meadows, sandy hills, open forests, forests, grasslands, wastelands, roadsides, riversides, watersides, farmlands; 200-3500 m. Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, N Sichuan [Korea, Mongolia, Russia].
Klasea centauroides is a very polymorphic species with respect to number of capitula, leaf shape, shape of involucre, and coloration of phyllaries. Several distinctive forms have been described as species, but all of them are connected by intermediate forms. Delimitation of subspecies is problematic especially in regions where their ranges overlap. Herbarium specimens are often misidentified; therefore, distribution data from literature have to be taken with care and may be incomplete for some subspecies treated here.