20. Taraxacum sect. Suavia Kirschner & Štepánek, Folia Geobot. 39: 264. 2004.
香花蒲公英组 xiang hua pu gong ying zu
Plant base with remnants of brownish dry petioles. Petiole narrow, unwinged; leaf blade deeply lobed, with lobes most often patent. Scapes densely arachnoid. Involucre base rounded to slightly truncate. Outer phyllaries 9-12, ± imbricate, orbicular-ovate to broadly ovate, mostly 5-6(-7) mm, appressed, with broad paler margin, apex usually corniculate. Achene 4.5-5 mm; body grayish straw-colored or red, densely spinulose above, very gradually narrowing into a conic-subcylindric 0.4-0.9 mm cone, spinules short and thin; beak 3-6 mm, slightly thickened. Pappus white [or whitish yellow], 5-6 mm. Fl. early spring.
About ten species: from Russia (S Altai) to Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and N China; one species (endemic) in China.
The occurrence of members of this section is imperfectly explored due to early vernal flowering and scarce material in herbarium collections. For the time being, a single species is known from China. Several distinct taxa, however, are known to occur in the close vicinity of the Chinese border in Kyrgyzstan and may also be found in China (Kirschner & Štěpánek, Preslia 77: 263-276. 2005). Taraxacum sumneviczii Schischkin (Sist. Zametki Mater. Gerb. Krylova Tomsk. Gosud. Univ. Kuybysheva 1949(1-2): 8. 1949) was reported to occur in China (FRPS 80(2): 64. 1999) but the species was not present in the material studied by us. In all likelihood, the records are referable to T. pseudosumneviczii.
The name Taraxacum wutaishanense Kitamura (Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 40: 145. 1989), in all likelihood, belongs to T. sect. Suavia. However, the original material consists of a single plantlet without achenes, and the interpretation of the name is uncertain. The plant may also belong to T. sect. Stenoloba or T. sect. Dissecta.
Members of Taraxacum sect. Suavia are similar to those of T. sect. Dissecta but have longer achenes with a very gradual transition into a short conic-subcylindric cone, short beak, and suborbicular outer phyllaries.