Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, annual, biennial or perennial, glabrous or tomentose. Leaves radical and cauline, alternate, unarmed, entire, toothed, pinnatifid or pinnatisect. Heads homogamous, solitary, corymbose or panicled, sessile or peduncled. Involucre ovoid, oblong, globose or hemispheric; bracts many-seriate, erect, not spiny, tips usually rigid and sharp; inner ones narrower and longer than the outer. Receptacle flat or convex, usually densely bristly, rarely naked. Flowers usually bluish or purple, all bisexual and similar; tube slender; limb narrow, 5-fid. Filaments free, glabrous; anther bases sagittate; auricles connate; tails usually long, entire, ciliate or woolly. Style arms linear. Achenes oblong, 4 - 10-ribbed, glabrous, smooth or rugose, top truncate, cupular or crowned with thickened disc and persistent base of style. Pappus hairs 1 - 2-seriate or many seriate; outer usually of rigid scabrid bristles, rarely feathery or absent; inner feathery, base thickened and connate into a deciduous ring.

Temperate Asia, Australia, Europe and W. and N. America; ca 403 species, 61 in India.

Notes. J.D. Hooker (1881) placed the genus under the tribe Cynaroideae, subtribe Carduineae, and treated the species under two subgenera, viz., Eusaussurea and Eriocoryne. Eusaussurea has been further grouped into 6 sections. Lipschitz (1979) has treated the Indian species under 5 subgenera and each subgenus has been further grouped into different sections. In the present treatment the genus has been dealt as such, without any subdivisions.

Literature. HAJRA, P.K. (1988). Brahmakamal & its allies in India. Dehra Dun. LIPSCHITZ, S.J. (1979). Rod Saussurea DC. (Asteraceae). Leningrad.


1a. Achenes shortly prickly in upper part; pappus hairs many-seriate 11. Saussurea ceratocarpa
b. Achenes smooth or rugose; pappus hairs 1-2-seriate 2
2a. Herbs usually densely woolly 3
b. Herbs usually not densely woolly 12
3a. Receptacle naked 4
b. Receptacle with bristles 5
4a. Leaves linear-lanceolate, acute at apex; pappus white 40. Saussurea nishiokae
b. Leaves broadly rounded at apex; pappus nut brown 19. Saussurea depsangensis
5a. Herbs, dwarf, densely tufted 6
b. Stem distinct, 10.5-30 cm high 8
6a. Leaves linear-spathulate, entire at margins 5. Saussurea aster
b. Leaves oblong-obovate or obovate-lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, toothed at margins 7
7a. Leaves oblong-obovate or obovate-lanceolate; pappus white or dull white 23. Saussurea glacialis
b. Leaves linear-lanceolate; pappus pale brown or dull blue 25. Saussurea gnaphalodes
8a. Heads solitary 27. Saussurea graminifolia
b. Heads in dense clusters 9
9a. Heads deeply embedded in woolly hairs 26. Saussurea gossypiphora
b. Heads exposed or partially exposed outside the woolly hairs 10
10a. Leaves linear-oblong, pinnatifid or rarely denticulate-sinuate 49. Saussurea simpsoniana
b. Leaves narrow, obovate, spathulate or rhomboid, subentire or dentate 11
11a. Leaves subentire, sometimes minutely lobulate at apex 58. Saussurea tridactyla
b. Leaves in upper half dentate, broadly obovate at apex 35. Saussurea medusa
12a. Heads enclosed in floral, boat shaped, papery bracts or bracteate by broad, obtuse, appressed leaves 13
b. Heads not enclosed in floral, boat shaped papery bracts 17
13a. Dwarf, generally 2-6 cm high herbs. 37. Saussurea nana
b. Stems always well developed, erect, 8-70 cm high 14
14a. Leaves linear, grass like, 0.2-0.3 cm broad; heads bracteate by broad, obtuse, appressed leaves 30. Saussurea hookeri
b. Leaves broad, not grass like; heads enclosed in boat shaped bracts 15
15a. Heads solitary, large, 2.5-5 cm (3-5 in S. uniflora var. conica) 59. Saussurea uniflora
b. Heads many, (rarely solitary), comparatively small, 1.2-2.5 cm in diam. 16
16a. Aoral bracts pale yellow; heads glabrous 42. Saussurea obvallata
b. Floral bracts pale-pinkish; heads villous 8. Saussurea bracteata
17a. Stems stout, 0.3 -3 .5 m high 18
b. Stems 2.5-30 cm high or dwarf, stemless 36
18a. Terminal lobes of leaves large, deltoid 18. Saussurea deltoidea
b. Terminal lobes of leaves not as above 19
19a. Heads sessile, in clusters 20
b. Heads panicled, solitary or in corymbs 21
20a. Herbs 1-2.5 m tall; leaves glabrate beneath 16. Saussurea costus
b. Herbs 0.6-0.9 m high; leaves woolly beneath 32. Saussurea laneana
21a. Heads in terminal panicles, lateral branches racemose 22
b. Heads solitary or in corymbs 23
22a. Leaves pinnatisect; lobes apiculate 36. Saussurea nagensis
b. Leaves sinuate dentate or lyrate pinnatifid 17. Saussurea crispa
23a. Heads in corymbs 24
b. Heads solitary and terminal 35
24a. Stems winged by decurrent leaf bases 25
b. Stems not winged by decurrent leaf bases 26
25a. Outer pappus bristles short, scab rid 10. Saussurea candolleana
b. Outer pappus bristles absent 12. Saussurea chenopodifolia
26a. Stems usually 2-3 m tall; involucral bracts glabrous, rarely cottony 27
b. Stem up to 1.5 m high 28
27a. Inflorescence not diffuse; capitula many 2. Saussurea albescens
b. Inflorescence diffuse; capitula few 20. Saussurea diffusa
28a. Outer pappus absent 29
b. Outer pappus present 33
29a. Achenes muricate, 5-angled 28. Saussurea heteromalla
b. Achenes smooth or somewhat tubercled 30
30a. Leaves entire 31
b. Leaves lyrate-pinnatifid 32
31a. Cauline leaves ca 15 cm long 22. Saussurea gilesii
b. Cauline leaves 1-5 cm long 34. Saussurea leptophylla
32a. Achenes 10-ribbed 13. Saussurea chitralica
b. Achenes 4-angled 52. Saussurea stracheyana
33a. Pappus bristles short, scabrid 31. Saussurea jacea
b. Pappus bristles all feathery 34
34a. Leaves linear-lanceolate, almost entire; corymbs lax 45. Saussurea pantlingiana
b. Leaves ovate-oblong or oblong, sharply toothed; corymbs dense 46. Saussurea piptathera
35a. Leaves lyrate or lyrate-pinnatifid; pappus single; achenes tubercled. 7. Saussurea auriculata
b. Leaves oblong or oblong-lanceolate; pappus double; achenes not tubercled 21. Saussurea fastuosa
36a. Dwarf, stemless or with scape like stem 37
b. Stems distinct, 2.5-30 cm high 53
37a. Anther tails short, entire 38
b. Anther tails woolly or laciniate or fimbriate 39
38a. Inflorescence usually 3-5 cm in diam.; heads usually many; pappus while 50. Saussurea stella
b. Inflorescence 1-2 cm in diam.; heads usually a few; pappus grey to light brown 57. Saussurea thomsonii
39a. Anther tails woolly or laciniate or fimbriate 40
b. Anther tails woolly 41