Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, annual or perennial, erect, usually spiny winged. Leaves alternate, pinnatifid, spinescent. Heads more or less globose, solitary, long peduncled or subsessile, scattered or crowded, homogamous. Flowers usually all bisexual and fertile, white, yellow or red; tube slender; limb equal or oblique, 5-fid. Involucre ovoid hemispheric or globose; bracts many-seriate, appressed or recurved, spinescent. Receptacle flat or convex, densely bristly. Filaments hairy or glabrous. Anther bases sagittate; auricles connate; tails slender. Style arms short, rarely filiform, obtuse. Achenes obovoid, glabrous, obtusely 4-angled, smooth or 5 - 10-ribbed. Pappus copious, hairs many-seriate.

European; ca 100 species, 4 in India.

Literature. KAZMI, S.M.A. (1964). Revision der Gattung Carduus (Compositae) Mitt. B. Staatssamm. Munchen 5: 275-350.


1a. Heads usually 2.5-4 cm across; corolla 2 cm long 2. Carduus edelbergii
b. Heads usually 1.5-2 cm across; corolla less than 2 cm long 2
2a. Involucral bracts ovate-lanceolate, glabrous, smooth; corolla ca 1 cm long 4. Carduus tenuiflorus
b. Involucral braets usually linear-subulate, hairy; corolla ca 1.5 cm long 3
3a. Heads cylindric; achenes ca 5 mm long; pappus ca 1.5 cm long 3. Carduus pycnocephalus
b. Heads subglobose, usually in clusten of 2-4; achenes ca 4 mm long; pappus ca 1 cm long 1. Carduus crispus

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