Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Launaea Cass.

Herbs, biennial or perennial with yellow latex; stems usually glabrous, rarely sparsely hairy, simple or branched, often with many flowering branches, solitary or profusely branched. Leaves chiefly radical, linear or linear-lanceolate, oblanceolate, spathulate, ovate, pinnatifid or runcinate-pinnatifid. Inflorescence terminal, racemose or paniculate on the spreading branches. Heads cylindric, sometimes solitary or fascicled, peduncled or sessile; peduncle, slender, bracteate. Involucral bracts in 2 - 3 series, equal or unequal, usually with scarious margins; outer small, ovate, obovate or linear-lanceolate; inner linear, linear-lanceolate or linear-oblong. Florets allligulate; ligules 5-toothed, usually yellow. Achenes oblanceolate, ellipsoid, truncate at both ends, subcompressed, strongly ribbed, sometimes polymorphic. Pappus, whitish pale yellow, silvery white, simple, deciduous, very slender, connate at base.

S.E. Asia, C. Asia, Europe and Africa; ca 45 species, 9 in India.


1a. Leaves with white cartilaginous teeth 2
b. Leaves without white cartilaginous teeth 3
2a. Achenes winged 3. Launaea capitata
b. Achenes not winged 6. Launaea procumbens
3a. Leaves spinous margined; heads often solitary 4
b. Leaves not spinous margined; heads solitary or fascicled or in racemose 5
4a. Achenes scaberulous on the ribs 7. Launaea resedifolia
b. Achenes smooth on the ribs 5. Launaea polyclada
5a. Peduncle ebracteate, achenes longer than the pappus 4. Launaea microcephala
b. Peduncle bracteolate; achenes equal to or shorter than the pappus 6
6a. Plants, dwarf leaves chiefly radical 1. Launaea acaulis
b. Leaves radical as well as cauline, plants reaching to 1 m high 7
7a. Heads terminal on the paniculately branched flowering stems 2. Launaea aspleniifolia
b. Heads on sparingly forked branches, solitary or more or less fascicled or subsessile racemose or the flowering stems or it's branches 8
8a. Stems rooting from the nodes; flowering branches many; achenes much aborter than the pappus 8. Launaea sarmentosa
b. Stems not rooting from the nodes, flowering branches solitary; achenes equalling the pappus 9. Launaea secunda

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