Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Carpesium cernuum L., Sp. Pl. 859. 1753; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 3: 300. 1881. C. nepalense Less. in Linnaea 6: 234. 1831; R.R. Rao et al., Fl. Ind. Enum. Aster. 21. 1988.

Herbs, perennial; stems upto 60 cm high, pubescent, hirsute villous or tomentose. Leaves variable, linear, lanceolate, ovate, elliptic-lanceolate or elliptic-ovate, entire or denticulate, 10 - 45 x 3 - 9 cm, hirsute-pubescent to densely woolly, subsessile or petiolate; petiole upto 12 cm long, occasionally winged, villous. Heads solitary, terminal, 0.5 - 2.5 cm across, erect or nodding, often with large leafy bracts at the base. Outer involucral bracts leafy, spreading or reflexed; inner oblong, oblanceolate or oblong-elliptic, upto 7.5 x 2.5 mm, obtuse, subacute or acute at the tip. Florets yellow; corolla tubular, ca 2 mm long, 3-lobed. Achenes linear-oblong, upto 5 mm long, 10-ribbed; rostrum often glandular, surmounted by corona.

Notes. A highly variable species with the following varieties recognised by Hooker (1881). Subsequetly, Kitamura (Fauna & Fl. Nepal Himal. 250. 1955) segregated var. lanatum and var. glandulosum from C. cernuum and placed them under C. nepalense, primarily on the basis of shape of the leaf and apices of the inner involucral bracts. However, the presence of intermediate characters in Indian specimens, necessiate a thorough study of type specimens for their proper delimitation. Till such time Hooker's (l.c.) treatment has been followed.


1a. Involucre villous 2
b. Involucre glabrate or pubescent 3
2a. Stems, branches and leaves densely woolly or cottony with white hairs 2.5. lanatum
b. Stems, branches and leaves hirsute or villous 2.6. nilagiricum
3a. Leaves ovate with winged petioles; heads on very long, stiff, naked peduncle 2.7. pedunculosum
b. Leaves linear, ovate, elliptic-ovate or lanceolate, sub sessile or petioled; peduncle not as above 4
4a. Stems and branches tomentose; leaves linear, petioled 2.4. griffithii
b. Stems and branches pubescent, sometimes cottony; leaves lanceolate, elliptic, ovate, or elliptic-ovate 5
5a. Stems and branches very slender; leaves lanceolate or elliptic-ovate, shortly petioled 2.2. ciliatum
b. Stems and branches robust; leaves elliptic or ovate subsessile or pctioled; heads with large leafy bracts at base 6
6a. Leaves long petioled 2.3. glandulosum
b. Leaves subsessile 2.1. cernuum

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