52. Saussurea gymnocephala (Y. Ling) Raab-Straube, Willdenowia. 41: 89. 2011.
裸头雪莲 luo tou xue lian
Saussurea obvallata (Candolle) Schultz Bipontinus var. gymnocephala Y. Ling, Contr. Inst. Bot. Natl. Acad. Peiping 6: 92. 1949.
Herbs 9-35(-55) cm tall, perennial. Caudex stout, simple or few branched, apically with black fibrous remains of petioles. Stem solitary, 2-4 mm in diam., erect, simple. Rosette and lower stem leaves petiolate; leaf blade narrowly elliptic to elliptic, 4-18(-27) × 0.9-2.5(-3.8) cm, both surfaces gland-dotted, abaxially glaucous green and glabrescent, adaxially green and scabrous, base cuneate, margin subentire to minutely denticulate, apex acute to acuminate. Middle stem leaves sessile, narrowly elliptic, 4-10 × 0.8-1.5 cm. Upper stem leaves narrowly elliptic and boat-shaped, 2-6 × 0.5-1.5 cm, half-enclosing synflorescence, both surfaces purple, margin entire. Capitula 1-4, solitary or in a congested corymbiform synflorescence, shortly pedunculate. Involucre campanulate to obconic, 1.5-2.5 cm in diam. Phyllaries in 4 or 5 rows, straw-colored to purplish but with a dark margin, sparsely pilose, glabrescent, apex acuminate; outer phyllaries triangular-ovate, 8-10 × 3-4 mm; middle phyllaries narrowly ovate-elliptic, 10-14 × 1.5-2.5 mm; inner phyllaries linear, 14-17 × 1-1.5 mm. Receptacle bristles 4-6 mm. Corolla purple, 1.3-1.7 cm, tube 5-9 mm, limb 6-8 mm, lobes 3-5 mm. Achene brown, cylindric, 3-3.5 mm. Pappus straw-colored; outer bristles 2-5 mm; inner bristles 1.1-1.3 cm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep.
● Marshlands, wet meadows; 3400-4300 m. Qinghai, W Sichuan, E Xizang.
This species has frequently been confused with Saussurea erubescens, due to an unfortunate, questionable synonymization by the monographer of the genus, Lipschitz. It is morphologically quite different from both S. obvallata and S. erubescens.