Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Pulicaria Gaertn.

Herbs, annual or perennial, usually woolly or villous. Branches 6 - 60 cm, ascending or spreading. Leaves alternate, often cordate, lanceolate, linear or oblong, amplexicaul, sessile, subsessile or petiolate. Heads rayed and heterogamous or disciform and homogamous, solitary. Involucre hemispheric or obconic; bracts few-seriate, narrow, linear, subequal, acute or subobtuse. Receptacle flat or subconvex, pitted. Ray florets female, 1 - 2-seriate; ligules narrow, minute or absent. Disc florets bisexual, slender, fertile, 5-fid. Anther bases sagittate with mintue auricles. Achenes terete or ribbed, sparsely hairy or densely silky. Pappus double; the outer row of short jagged teeth or forming a setulose-laciniate cup; inner row of smooth or barbellate hairs.

Predominently in the Mediterranean region, Europe, Asia and Africa; ca 25 species, 11 in India.


1a. Inner involucral bracts much longer than outer; leaves succulent 5. Pulicaria glaucescens
b. Involucral bracts subcqual; leaves not succulent 2
2a. Leaves petiolatc; achenes subfusiform with a Gonstriction at apex 7. Pulicaria petiolaris
b. Leaves sessile; achenes terete, oblong, elliptic, angular, without any constriction at apex 3
3a. Ray florets tubular 4. Pulicaria foliolosa
b. Ray florets ligulate 4
4a. Pappus hairs thickened at apex, outer scales connate, deciduous 5
b. Pappus hairs, not thickened at apex, outer row of free scales or forming a cup 7
5a. Achenes densely silky; pappus not more than twice the size of achenes; annuals 6. Pulicaria gnaphalodes
b. Achenes glabrous; pappus more than twice the size of achenes; perennials 6
6a. Leaves crisped with recurved margins; involucral bracts acute; pappua 3 times longer than achenes 2. Pulicaria crispa
b. Leaves serrate dentate with flat margins; involucral bracts acuminate; pappus 6 times longer than achenes 9. Pulicaria rajputanae
7a. Outer row of pappus forming a laciniate cup; achenes sparsely hairy 8
b. Outer row of pappus of free lanceolate scales; achenes silky 9
8a. Heads 1.2 - 2 cm across; peduncles thickened below heads; plants 30 - 60 cm; pappus red 11. Pulicaria wightiana
b. Heads up to 1 cm across; peduncles not thickened below heads; plants less than 30 cm; pappus while 1. Pulicaria angustifolia
9a. Ligules not exceeding the size of involucral bracts; achenes ellipsoid, 4 - 5 angled; annuals 8. Pulicaria prostrata
b. Ligules exceeding the size of involucral bracts; achedes cylindrical or oblong, ribbed; perennials 10
10a Leaves oblong-lanceolate, semi amplexicaul at base, waved or toothed; pappus hairs very long 3. Pulicaria dysenterica
b. Leaves obovate to subrotund, attenuate at base, margins entire; pappus hairs very small 10. Pulicaria salviaefolia

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