Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs or undershrubs; stems glabrous, hispid or woolly. Leaves alternate, elliptic-obovate, acute to acuminate at the apex, obtuse or attenuate at base, margins serrate and sometimes revolute, pubescent or rugose above, puberulous to tomentose beneath, petiolate or sessile. Inflorescence terminal or axillary (rarely spike like). Heads with numerous florets. Involucral bracts imbricate in several series, glabrous to long ciliate; the outer usually foliaceous; the inner membranaceous. Corolla reddish purple (infrequently white). Achenes obconic, ribbed. Pappus white, yellowish or reddish, of 1-many bristles.

Mainly in India and Indonesia; 10 species, 9 in India.

Literature. KIRKMAN, KATHERINE (1981) Taxonomic revision of Centratherum & Phyllocephalum (Compositae-Vernonieae). Rhodora 83(833): 1 - 24.

Kirkman (l.c.) recognised only 3 species reducing most of the Indian species under synonymy of P. indicum and P. scabridum. Study of the Indian material, however, does not support Kirkman's treatment.


1a. Leaves not while beneath; outer involucral bracts shortest; pappus single 1. Phyllocephalum hookeri
b. Leaves white beneath; outer involucral bracts large, foliaceous; pappus hairs 1-many 2
2a. Outer involucral bracts cordate at base 6. Phyllocephalum ritchiei
b. Outer involucral bracts not cordate at base 3
3a. Leaves prominently reticulately veined beneath 2. Phyllocephalum indicum
b. Leaves not prominently reticulately veined beneath 4
4a. Pappus hairs reddish 5
b. Pappus hairs white or yellowish 6
5a. Leafy involucral bracts many, spreading or deflexed; pappus hairs equalling the corolla tube; achenes distinctly ribbed 4. Phyllocephalum phyllolaenum
b. Leafy involucral bracts-1-2, not spreading; pappus hairs shorter than the corolla tube; achenes faintly ribbed 9. Phyllocephalum tenue
6a. Pappus hairs copious. long 7
b. Pappus hairs 1-10. short 8
7a. Stems covered with black banded tubercle based hairs 3. Phyllocephalum mayurii
b. Stems not covered with tubercle based hairs 4. Phyllocephalum phyllolaenum
8a. Leaves petioled; peduncles stout, not long villous 7. Phyllocephalum scabridum
b. Upper leaves sessile; peduncles slender, long villous 9
9a. Pappus hairs 1-4 5. Phyllocephalum rangacharii
b. Pappus hairs 6-10 8. Phyllocephalum sengaltherianum

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