45. Taraxacum suavissimum Kirschner & Štepánek, Fl. China. 20-21: 291. 2011.
甜蒲公英 tian pu gong ying
Type: China. Yunnan: "Yunnan borealis, opp. Dêqên [德钦] (Atuntze)," 3300-4200 m, 30 Jun & 1 Jul 1992, L. Businská & R. Businský 7, cultivated as JŠ 5139 (holotype, PRA; isotype, PRA).
Paratypes: China. Yunnan: ibidem, L. Businská & R. Businský 7, cultivated as JŠ 6733 and 6229 (PRA).
Plantae foliis demum pinnatisectis lobis lateralibus saepe sursum curvatis, in parte distali linearibus, interlobiis integris vel uni- vel bilobulatis, phyllariis involucralibus exterioribus non imbricatis anguste lanceolatis usque lineari-lanceolatis, adpressis, minute corniculatis, ligulis pallidissime luteis, acheniis immaturis laete ochraceo armeniacis, in maturitate obscure brunneo-rubescentibus, corpore superne distincte spinuloso, in pyramidem crassam ± cylindricam subsensim transiente.
Herbs 12-20 cm tall. Petiole green or purple, narrow, very sparsely arachnoid at base; leaf blade light green to mid-green, linear-oblanceolate, (8-)12-16 × 1.2-3 cm, sparsely arachnoid, usually almost undivided to shallowly lobed for early leaves, pinnatisect for later leaves; lateral lobes or teeth 4-6 pairs, from a broad base abruptly narrowing into a ± linear 3-10 × 1.5-2 mm distal part, often slightly broadened near apex or evenly broad and apex acute, usually ± recurved or patent and distally curved upward, proximal margin ± straight or convex and entire, distal margin ± concave and entire or with one basal tooth; interlobes with margin entire or with a 1 or 2 teeth or lobules; terminal lobe ± elongated, 3-partite, basal segments patent and similar to lateral lobes, terminal segment narrowly triangular and margin entire or with 1 tooth. Scapes purplish green, ± overtopping leaves, arachnoid. Capitulum 3-4 cm wide. Involucre 1-1.2 cm wide, base ± rounded. Outer phyllaries (9-)11-15(-17), dark blackish green, ± not imbricate, narrowly lanceolate to ± linear-lanceolate, outermost ones 5-6(-8) × (1-)1.7-2.2 mm and 1/3-1/2 as long as inner ones, appressed, paler border not developed, margin ± ciliate, apex usually minutely corniculate; inner phyllaries 1.2-1.5 cm, apex ± minutely blackish corniculate. Ligules pale yellowish white; outer ligules ± flat, outside striped grayish purple; inner ligules with grayish purple apical teeth. Stigmas grayish green. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene initially (when almost ripe) light ochraceous red but finally turning dark grayish reddish brown, (4.3-)4.6-4.9(-5.1) × 1.2-1.3 mm; body densely spinulose in upper half, subgradually narrowing into a ± cylindric 0.8-1.1 × ca. 0.4 mm cone, spinules distinct, straight, and erect-patent; beak 8-9 mm. Pappus pale yellowish white, ca. 7 mm. Fl. summer. Agamosperm.
● Mountain grasslands, along paths; 3300-4200 m. NW Yunnan.
Taraxacum suavissimum differs from the other agamospermous T. sect. Tibetana species with comparable outer phyllaries and leaf shape. It differs from T. apargia, which has dark grayish olivaceous achenes (without reddish color), from T. delicatum, which has pollen absent and has a different fruit color and size, and from T. austrotibetanum, which has reddish brown achenes and white florets. From outside the limits of the section, T. sikkimense of T. sect. Emodensia has distinctly bordered outer phyllaries and a longer cone.