3. Launaea procumbens (Roxburgh) Ramayya & Rajagopal, Kew Bull. 23: 465. 1969.
假小喙菊 jia xiao hui ju
Prenanthes procumbens Roxburgh, Fl. Ind., ed. 1832, 3: 404. 1832; Launaea fallax (Jaubert & Spach) Kuntze; Microrhynchus fallax Jaubert & Spach; Paramicrorhynchus procumbens (Roxburgh) Kirpicznikov; Sonchus lakouensis S. Y. Hu; S. mairei H. Léveillé (1915), not H. Léveillé (1913); ?Youngia alashanica H. C. Fu; Zollikoferia fallax (Jaubert & Spach) Boissier.
Herbs, perennial, rosulate, branched from base, procumbent to ascending. Taproot with shoot-bearing lateral roots. Stems 5-30 cm, divaricately branched, puberulent or glabrous, with few leaves or leafless. Rosette leaves spatulate, 5-7 × 2-3 cm, sinuate-dentate to variously pinnately lobed, tapering into a narrow base, margin white cartilaginous denticulate; lateral lobes 3 or 4 pairs, elliptic to triangular, apex rounded to obtuse; terminal lobe lanceolate to elliptic, apex obtuse. Stem leaves smaller, base often clasping, otherwise similar to rosette leaves. Synflorescence divaricately paniculiform, with capitula frequently clustered. Capitula with 15-20(-30) florets. Involucre cylindric, 10-12 × ca. 3 mm. Phyllaries glabrous, margin broadly white scarious, apex acute to obtuse; outer phyllaries triangular-ovate to linear-lanceolate, to 2/3 as long as inner phyllaries; inner phyllaries 8. Achenes dimorphic, 2-4 mm, apex pointed to subtruncate; outer achenes grayish to brown, ± fusiform, ± compressed, with 5 main ribs, transversely wrinkled; inner achenes whitish to grayish, columnar, with 4 thick, soft main ribs, smooth. Pappus 8-9 mm, caducous with pappus disk. Fl. and fr. Jun-Oct. 2n = 18.
Alkaline areas, steppes, meadows, irrigated land, floodplains; 1500-2000 m. Gansu, Nei Mongol (Alxa Meng), Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan [Afghanistan, India, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; SW Asia].
Molecular phylogenetic analyses by N. Kilian (unpubl.) corroborate his previous conclusion inferred from achene morphology (N. Kilian, Englera, 17. 1997) that Launaea procumbens is very closely related to the following species, L. sarmentosa, which provides the type of the name Launaea, therefore refuting its generic segregation as Paramicrorhynchus. The species enters China both from the south (Sichuan, Yunnan) and the northwest (Gansu, W Nei Mongol, Xinjiang). Its presence in W Nei Mongol was reported by Tzvelev (Rast. Tsentral. Azii 14b: 79. 2008). The description and illustration of Youngia alashanica (H. C. Fu in Ma, Fl. Intramongol., ed. 2, 4: 849. 1993) from Ejin Qi, Nei Mongol, with high probability actually also refer to L. procumbens and would confirm its occurrence there.