Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Ainsliaea aptera DC., Prodr. 7: 15. 1838; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India. 3: 388. 1881.

Herbs, perennial; rootstock thick. woody, elongated, with several long thick roots; crown silky as are the young leaves and petioles, or sometimes glabrous. Leaves triangular or orbicular cordate, acute, sinuate lobed or toothed, each tooth ending in mucro like projection, 6 - 18 x 5 - 15 cm, sparsely hairy to densely silky villous, palmately nerved; petiole 3 - 10 cm long; cauline leaves very short, alternate, lanceolate. Scapes reddish brown, erect, stout, 30-60 cm long, hairy or glabrous. Heads solitary or 1-2 together, arranged on the long flowering stem, sessile or shortly p~uncleJ, 1.5 - 2 cm long. Involucral bracts in many series, imbricating; outer shorter, 2 - 3 mm long; inner ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 10 - 12 mm long, acute, margins thin, somewhat hyaline. Corolla dull white, exceeding the involucre, 10-13 mm long, 5-lobed. Anthers 3-4 mm long. Style thick, 5 - 6 mm long; style arms stout, recurved. Achenes black, oblanceolate or somewhat turbinate, 6-7 mm long, subcompressed, distinctly hairy. Pappus reddish black dotted at base, 9 - 10 mm long, long feathery.

Fl. & Fr. April - May; Sept. - Oct.

Distrib. India: Temperate Himalayas, as undergrowth in Pinus and Cedrus forests, and on moist, shady slopes, 2500-4000 m. Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya.

Bhutan and Nepal.

Notes. There appear to be two distinct forms under this species. One with densely hairy/silky leaves and petiole and the other glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Similarly the achenes are distinctly 10-ribbed in some plants while in others the ribs are inconspicuous.

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