33. Taraxacum mutatum Kirschner & Štepánek, Fl. China. 20-21: 287. 2011.
变化蒲公英 bian hua pu gong ying
Type: China. Yunnan: "Northern part of Zhongdian [中甸] Plateau, Napa Hai [纳帕海], road out of the plateau," 3400-3750 m, Jun 1995, A. J. Richards s.n., cultivated as JK 4066 (holotype, PRA; isotypes, PRA).
Paratypes: China. Yunnan: ibidem, A. J. Richards s.n., cultivated as JK 4065 (PRA); "South end of Zhongdian [中甸] Plateau, ca. 45 km S of Zhongdian," 3200 m, Jun 1995, A. J. Richards s.n., cultivated as JK 4049 (PRA).
Plantae agamospermae foliis pinnatilobis vel pinnatisectis, lobis lateralibus late linearibus rectis patentibus, phyllariis involucralibus exterioribus paucis, lanceolatis usque lineari-lanceolatis, pallide viridibus usque atro-viridibus, pruinosis, stigmatibus luteis, acheniis subatris, magnis, sensim in pyramidem longam subcylindricam abeuntibus.
Herbs 12-20 cm tall. Petiole ± greenish, narrow, sparsely arachnoid; leaf blade light green to mid-green, linear-oblanceolate, 6-16 × 0.8-2 cm, sparsely arachnoid, pinnatilobed to pinnatisect; lateral lobes 3-6 pairs, ± linear-triangular to broadly linear, patent, margin entire or with a single tooth or lobule near base on distal side; interlobes 2-4 mm wide, with 1 or 2 teeth or lobules; terminal lobe narrowly triangular-lingulate, margin often with 1-3 patent teeth or segments, basal segments linear. Scapes greenish, overtopping leaves, sparsely arachnoid but sometimes subglabrous even below capitulum. Capitulum 2.5-3.5 cm wide. Involucre ± pruinose, 0.9-1.1 cm wide, base rounded. Outer phyllaries 9-11(-13), light green to blackish green and grayish pruinose, slightly imbricate, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, outermost ones 4.5-6.5(-8) × (1.6-)1.9-2.3 mm and ca. 1/2 as long as inner ones, ± appressed to loosely so, with an evident whitish 0.2-0.3 mm wide border, margin ciliate, apex flat; inner phyllaries 1.2-1.5 cm, apex flat. Ligules yellow; outer ligules ± flat, outside striped grayish pink; inner ligules with reddish apical teeth. Stigmas yellow, sometimes with a few darker hairs. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene dark gray to blackish but straw-colored when unripe, 4.9-5.3 × 1-1.1 mm; body spinulose-squamulose in upper 1/2-2/3, ± gradually narrowing into a subcylindric 1.4-1.7 × ca. 0.3 mm cone; beak ca. 7 mm. Pappus yellowish white, 5-6 mm. Fl. summer. Agamosperm.
● Alpine meadows, grazed alpine grasslands; 3400-3800 m. NW Yunnan.
Taraxacum mutatum is characterized by outer phyllaries pruinose, not numerous, of narrow shape, and ciliate; stigmas yellow; leaves with straight and patent lateral lobes; and achenes large, squamulose, almost black, and with body gradually narrowing into an unusually long cone. Similar agamospermous polliniferous species of T. sect. Tibetana to be compared with T. mutatum are T. tibetanum (stigmas black, cone conic and to 0.9 mm), T. przevalskii (stigmas blackish, cone 0.4-0.6 mm), T. subcoronatum (achene body abruptly narrowing into cone), T. apargia (stigmas black, smaller achenes with cone to 0.9 mm), T. centrasiaticum (stigmas blackish green, small achenes, cone ca. 0.9 mm), and T. suavissimum (achenes dark reddish brown).