21. Taraxacum calanthodium Dahlstedt, Acta Horti Gothob. 2: 150. 1926.
丽花蒲公英 li hua pu gong ying
Taraxacum canitiosum Dahlstedt; T. connectens Dahlstedt.
Herbs 20-35 cm tall, robust. Petiole purplish, narrow; leaf blade pale green, oblanceolate to broadly oblanceolate, 9-15 × 3-4.5 cm, sparsely to densely arachnoid, margin shallowly lobed and remotely dentate to deeply lobed; lateral lobes 3-6, triangular to linear-triangular, patent, often with recurved distal part or recurved; interlobes short, lobulate; terminal lobe broad, apex subobtuse to acute and sometimes with a distinct terminal lobule. Scapes brownish green, overtopping leaves, apically yellowish arachnoid. Capitulum 5-6 cm wide. Involucre 1.5-2 cm wide, base broadly rounded. Outer phyllaries (12-)15-24, pale green at base, suffused reddish, and getting darker then blackish toward apex, ± imbricate or not so, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, outermost ones 9-13 × 4-8 mm and ca. 4/5 as long as inner ones, appressed, border white and 0.4-1.5 mm, margin sparsely ciliate, apex blunt and corniculate; inner phyllaries 1.6-1.8 cm but to 2.3 cm in fruit. Ligules yellow; outer ligules outside faintly striped purplish; inner ligules with pinkish apical teeth; floret tube sparsely puberulent. Stigmas blackish green to green. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains slightly irregular in size, almost regular. Achene dark grayish brown, 4.5-5.1 × 1.1-1.7 mm; body ridged, densely spinulose above, spinulose on ridges throughout, ± abruptly narrowing into a 0.8-1 mm subconic or subcylindric cone; beak 8-11 mm. Pappus yellowish, 8-11 mm. Fl. summer. Sexual.
● Alpine and subalpine grassland slopes and meadows; 3000-4000 m. S Gansu, Qinghai, NW Sichuan, ?Xizang.
Taraxacum calanthodium may occur in E Xizang, but material was not seen by the present authors. Reports from Shaanxi (FRPS 80(2): 38. 1999; Higher Pl. China 11: 776. 2005) are incorrect.
The three names, Taraxacum calanthodium, T. canitiosum, and T. connectens, all described by Dahlstedt from Sichuan, belong to a taxon characterized by great variation. Only in cultivation was sexuality proven for all the morphotypes (in spite of inconspicuous size variation of pollen grains). Taraxacum grypodon may also belong to this taxon but it is kept separate as it has patent outer phyllaries. Ploidy level of the whole complex remains unknown (both diploids and sexual tetraploids are possible).