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Leontopodium R. Br. ex Cass., Bull. Soc. Philom. 144. 1819; Beauv. in Bull. Bot. Geneve 1(5): 364-376. 1911; in Bull. Murith. Soc. Valais. Sc. Nat. 36: 77-120. 1912; Hand. Mazz. in Centrablatt 44 (2): 1-178. 1928; Grubov in Schishkin, Fl. URSS 25: 342-360. 1959 (Engl. Transl.); Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 145: 28. 1980; Anderb. in Bremer, Asteraceae, Clad. & Class. 360. 1994; P. C. Pant in Hajra et al., Fl. Ind. 13: 103. 1995; Grierson & Springate in Grierson, D. G. Long & Springate, Fl. Bhutan 2(3): 1508. 2001.

Perennial, tufted or stonoliferous, usually densely white tomentose, herbs. Leaves alternate, simple, entire, cauline ones few to many, basal leaves usually in rosettes. Capitula terminal, solitary or in clusters of 3-12 (-20), usually surrounded by conspicuous spreading bracts, different in colour, texture of the indumentum and size from cauline leaves, forming a star-like structure, rarely neither a star like structure formed nor the bracts different from the cauline leaves (L. nanum). Florets unisexual, capitula usually either discoid and dioecious or disciform. Involucre campanulate; phyllaries dark brownish, pluriseriate. Receptacle flat or convex, epalaceous. Marginal florets female outnumbering the central florets, filiform, corolla yellow, 3-4 toothed, disc florets functionally male, tubular-campanulate, corolla yellow 5-toothed. Anthers linear, caudate. Cypselas oblong-ellipsoid, sparsely hairy to glabrous with short clavate or myxogenic twin hairs; pappus setae barbellate, basally connate, deciduous.

A medium sized genus with c. 30 species distributed in Europe, Asia and N America. Represented in Pakistan by 8 species. Leontopodium is an intricate genus, probably most of the species are apomictic. Little work has been done on our Himalayan plants. It is difficult to construct a satisfactory key as most of the specis are highly variable. Experimental and field studies are needed to resolve the problem.

1 Inflorescence bracts spreading forming a star-like structure, distinctly differing in colour, texture of indumentum or at least in size from the cauline leaves.   (2)
+ Inflorescence bracts neither forming a star-like structure nor differing from the other cauline leaves.   Leontopodium nanum
2 (1) Mat forming herbs with very slender, floriferous stalks. Leaves densely covered with long yellowish, grey tomentum.   Leontopodium monocephalum
+ Plants not as above. Floriferous stalk thick. Leaves covered by ash white tomentum.   (3)
3 (2) Stem 1-3 (-5) cm long. Capitula 1-3.   Leontopodium pusillum
+ Stem (6-) 10-30 cm long. Capitula usually more than 5.   (4)
4 (3) Plants with stolons. Stolons usually elongate, naked or bearing scattered, recurved scales, small spreading leaves. Cypsela usually papillose or hairy.   (5)
+ Plants tufted or caespitose with replacement shoots, erect, short, crowded, sheathed by brownish, old leaf bases. Cypselae usually glabrous.   (6)
5 (4) 5. + Basal rosette of leaves spathulate, obtuse. Inflorescence bracts not different from the cauline leaves in colour and texture of indumentum except the size; lanceolate. 5. L. brachyactis   Leontopodium brachyactis
+ Basal rosette of leaves lanceolate or linear lanceolate, acute. Inflorescence bracts usually different in colour and texture of indumentum, from the other cauline leaves, lanceolate to oblong elliptic.   Leontopodium jacotianum
6 (4) Capitula 5-7 mm in diameter. Leaves linear, oblong to spathulate.   (7)
+ Capitula 7-9 mm in diameter. Leaves linear.   Leontopodium linearifolium
7 (6) Cauline leaves oblong-lanceolate to spathulate, obtuse to subacute. Involucral bracts 13-35 mm long (1-2 x diameter across the cluster of capitula).   Leontopodium leontopodinum
+ Cauline leaves linear-spathulate, acute to subobtuse. Involucral bracts 30-50 mm long (2-4 x diameter across the cluster of capitula).   Leontopodium himalayanum

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


Related Objects  

Ornamental Plants From Russia And Adjacent States Of The Former Soviet Union  
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