Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Lactuca viminea (L.) Jaub. & Presl, Fl. Coch. 160. 1819. Prenanthes viminea L., Sp. Pl. 797. 1753.

Herbs, perennial with stout woody rootstock; stems 10 - 40 cm; branches shorter, stiff, many from the rootstock, intricately branched, glabrous, often slender and spinescent, whitish. Leaves 4 - 8 x 1 - 2 cm; lower leaves often triangular, or entire pinnatifid, acute; cauline leaves decurrent, obovate or oblanceolate. Inflorescence fascicled. Heads sessile, solitary or 2 - 3 in axillary fascicles, 1.2 - 1.5 x 0.2 - 0.3 cm, erect. Outer involucral bracts linear-oblong or linear-lanceolate, 1.5 - 6 x 1.2 - 2.5 mm. Corolla yellow. Achenes black, linear-lanceolate, flatened, 7 - 8.5 mm long including an elongate beak about equalling the body, smooth, narrowed with many strong ribs. Pappus pale white.

Fl. & Fr. June - Oct.

Distrib. India: W. Himalayas on exposed shady slopes, in black and sandy soil, 2000-4500 m. Himachal Pradesh.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Europe, Australia, Iran and Iraq.

Notes. This European and W. Asiatic species is closely allied to the common L. orientalis and the two can be separated only by the nature of their achenes. These are black in L. viminea with an elongate beak about equalling the body while in L. orientalis they are yellowish or grayish, somewhat less flattened and with a much shorter beak. The two species are closely similar even in habit, the only difference being the nature of branching. L. orientalis is more branched and bushy than L. viminea with shorter and stiffer branches.

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