4. Syncalathium kawaguchii (Kitamura) Y. Ling, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 10: 287. 1965.
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Lactuca kawaguchii Kitamura, Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 15: 72. 1953; Syncalathium pilosum (Y. Ling) C. Shih; S. sukaczevii Lipschitz; S. sukaczevii var. pilosum Y. Ling.
Herbs 1-5 cm tall, rosulate, acaulescent to subacaulescent. Taproot slender. Rosette leaves petiolate; petiole 2-3 cm, wings sometimes dentate; leaf blade often dark purple, ovate, oblanceolate, or elliptic, 1.5-3 × 0.5-2 cm, undivided to basally lyrately pinnate, glabrous to white villous, base cuneate, margin shallowly to coarsely dentate, apex rounded to obtuse. Synflorescence flat conical, 2-6 cm in diam., with some to numerous capitula. Capitula with 3 florets. Involucre narrowly cylindric, 7-9 × 2-3 mm. Phyllaries 3 or 4, lanceolate, abaxially glabrous or white villous, apex obtuse. Florets purple, ligule 5-7 mm. Anthers 2.5-4 mm. Achene brown, obconical, ca. 3 mm, compressed, apex truncate. Pappus 6-8 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Oct. 2n = 16*.
● Alpine steppes, scree slopes, gravelly areas in dry river valleys; 3800-5400 m. Qinghai, Xizang.
Syncalathium kawaguchii is certainly closely related to S. porphyreum, which, as the holotype shows, also has 3 florets and 3 or 4 phyllaries, and their delimitation should be reassessed on the basis of more material. Leaf shape is variable even within the same population from undivided to pinnately lobed.