Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, annual with divaricate branches; stems winged or not, hairy or glabrous. Leaves altemat~, serrate-dentate, decurrent on the stem, hairy or pubescent, sometimes punctate. Heads heterogamous, disciform terminal or axillary, solitary or in globose clusters, subsessile or stalked. Receptacle small, naked. The outer florets female, fertile. Disc florets bisexual, solitary or few, fertile or sterile; corolla tube thickened; limb 4-5 toothed. Involucre narrow; involucral bracts acute, unequal, sometimes reflexed, acuminate. Anther base sagittate. Style arms of bisexual florets filiform or connate. Achenes oblong, subcompressed, angled, glabrous or villous, often glandular. Pappus absent.

Tropical Asia, Africa, and Australia; ca 8 species, 4 in India.

Literature. ROBYNS, W. (1924). Revision ofthe genus Sphaeranthus. Kew Bull. Misc. Inf. 177-199. fig. 1-4. ROSS-CRAIG, S.(1955). A revision of the genus Sphaeranthus. Hook. lc. Pl. 6: 1-90. t, 3501-3525.



KEY TO THE SPECIES


1a. Stems not winged or rarely narrowly winged; glomeruli conical, subsessile, brownish; outer florets not more than 4 2. Sphaeranthus amaranthoides
b. Stems winged; glomeruli spherical or ovoid, pedunculate, white. purple or violet; outer florets more than 4 2
2a. Wings entire; glomeruli not more than 1 cm across; peduncles glabrous; involucral bracts not ciliate at apex 1. Sphaeranthus africanus
b. Wings toothed; glomeruli up to 2.5 cm across; peduncles pubescent; involucral bracts ciliate at apex 3
3a. Leaves double-dentate and with stalked glands 3. Sphaeranthus indicus
b. Leaves single-dentate and with sessile glands 4. Sphaeranthus senegalensis


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