Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs or undershrubs, annual or perennial, erect or prostrate. Leaves radical and alternate. Heads yellow, sometimes white, heterogamous, radiate, rarely disciform, solitary, corymbose or panicled. Involucral bracts green multiseriate, leafy, the inner usually rigid and narrow. Ray florets female, I-multiseriate, fertile; ligule 3-toothed. Disc florets bisexual, fertile, tubular, 5-toothed; limb yellow, elongate. Achenes subterete, angled, usually ribbed. Pappus hairs, 1 - 2-seriate, few or many, smooth, scabrid or bearded.

Temperate and subalpine regions of Europe, Africa and Asia; ca 50 species, 20 in India.


1a. Plants almost stemless with a roselle of spathulate leaves; heads densely collected at the centre of rosette 17. Inula rhizocephala
b. Planta with well defined stem; not forming a rosette of leaves; heads not densely collected at the centre of rosette 2
2a. Shrubs or undershrubs 3
b. Herbs 7
3a. Leaves succulent; plants with a balsamic odour 8. Inula grantioides
b. Leaves not succulent; plants not with balasamic odour 4
4a. Heads not more than 5 in a raceme; nerves on leaves subparallel 19. Inula rubricaulis
b. Heads many, always more than 5 in a corymb or raceme; nerves not subparallel with the leaf margins 5
5a. Heads discoid; branches and leaves silky villous or woolly on lower surface; pappus hairs yellowish 3. Inula cappa
b. Heads radiate; leaves glabrous or pubescent on both surfaces but not white woolly 6
6a. Leaves membranous; petioles slender; Iigules broad, revolute; involucral bracts acute 5. Inula cuspidata
b. Leaves coriaceous; petioles stouter; Iigules narrow, erect; involucral bracts acuminate 6. Inula eupatorioides
7a. Achenes contracted at tip forming a small cup; pappus borne on minute cupule; heads turbinate; stems copiously branched 9. Inula graveolens
b. Achenes not contracted at tip; pappus free at base; heads not turbinate; stems not copiously branched 8
8a. Stems with a narrow, membranous wing; achenes 6 mm long; Iigules deeply 3-fid 12. Inula macrosperma
b. Stems without wing; achenes less than 6 mm long; ligules not deeply 3-fid 9
9a. Outer involucral bracts broad, herbaceous; heads large, 10
b. Outer involucral bracts narrower, dry, rigid; heads relatively small 11
10a. Heads solitary, 7 - 10 cm across, inner involucral bracts acuminate; leaves membranous 18. Inula royleana
b. Heads racemose, 3 - 5 cm across; inner involucral bracts acute; leaves coriaceous 16. Inula racemosa
11a. Achenes silky or hairy 12
b. Achenes glabrous or nearly so 15
12a. Ligules yellow; branches from a woody root stock; ray florets up to 8 mm long; pappus pale-reddish 13
b. Ligules white; stems simple; ray florets 11 - 12 mm long; pappus white 14
13a. Stems and leaves beneath scaberulous or hairy; involucral bracts pubescent; heads small 14. Inula obtusifolia
b. Stems and leaves beneath shortly tomentose; involucral bracts villous; heads larger 4. Inula clarkei
14a. Leaves elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, acute at both ends, scaberulous above; ligules broad; heads small 13. Inula nervosa
b. Leaves oblong, base rounded, hairy on both surfaces; ligules narrow; heads large 20. Inula simonsii
15a. Pappus white; achenes 2 mm long; perennial 16
b. Pappus reddish or pale-reddish; achenes not more than 1.5 mm long; annuals 17
16a. Involucre shaggy; heads 1 - 3; stems villous; ligules equal to the size of disc florets 10. Inula hookeri
b. Involucre not shaggy; heads solitary; stems hirsute; Iigules larger than disc florets 15. Inula orientalis
17a. Pappus scanty, not more than 3 mm long; achenes glabrous 11. Inula kalapani
b. Pappus prominent, more than 3 mm long; achenes sparsely pubescent 18
18a. Leaves linear-oblong 7. Inula falconeri
b. Leaves hastate or elliptic or ovate-elliptici 19
19a. Ligules short, recurved, not exceeding the involucral bracts 1. Inula acuminata
b. Ligules 15 - 25 mm long, much exceeding the involucral bracts 2. Inula brittanica

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