21. Melanoseris lessertiana (Candolle) Decaisne in Jacquemont, Voy. Inde. 4(Bot.): 102. 1843.
黑苞毛鳞菊 hei bao mao lin ju
Mulgedium lessertianum Candolle, Prodr. 7: 251. 1838; Cicerbita lessertiana (Candolle) Mamgain & R. R. Rao; C. lessertiana subsp. lyrata (Decaisne) Mamgain & R. R. Rao; Lactuca lessertiana (Candolle) C. B. Clarke; ?L. monocephala C. C. Chang; Melanoseris lyrata Decaisne; ?Mulgedium monocephalum (C. C. Chang) C. Shih; ?M. qinghaicum S. W. Liu & T. N. Ho.
Herbs 5-30[-40] cm tall, perennial. Root slenderly turniplike. Stems usually several, weak, sparsely branched, glabrous to apically reddish villous, rarely with a solitary dominant stem branched from base. Basal and lower stem leaves elliptic to oblanceolate, 6-9[-15] × 1-2[-3.5] cm, undivided to lyrately pinnatisect, base cuneate to petiole-like, margin entire to shallowly sinuate-dentate, apex acute to shortly acuminate; lateral lobes 2 or 3 pairs, ovate, triangular-ovate, or ± elliptic; terminal lobe ovate to triangular-ovate. Middle and upper stem leaves smaller and narrower, less or not divided, basally less attenuate; uppermost leaves linear to linear-lanceolate. Synflorescence racemiform, with 1 to several capitula. Capitula with usually 12-24 florets; peduncle mostly 1-2 cm. Involucre campanulate, 1-1.3 cm at anthesis, to 1.8 × 0.7-1 cm in fruit. Phyllaries acute at apex; outer phyllaries lanceolate, abaxially ± villous; inner phyllaries 8. Florets purplish red to bluish. Achene 6-8(-10) mm; body dark to blackish brown, ellipsoid, compressed, lateral ribs broadened, apex contracted into a concolorous to pale 2-3(-5) mm slender beak. Pappus single, 6-8 mm. Fl. and fr. Aug-Sep. 2n = 16.
Grasslands on mountain slopes; 2700-4500 m. ?Qinghai, Xizang, NW Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Kashmir, Nepal, Pakistan].
Melanoseris lessertiana shows considerable variation in habit, leaf shape, and achene beak length over its distribution area, which is worth closer investigation. The single-headed Lactuca monocephala has tentatively been included, considering it a depauperate form, because otherwise the type image matches M. lessertiana. The type material of Mulgedium qinghaicum has not been available for loan, but from the description and figure it appears likely conspecific and has also tentatively been included.