Hawkbit Saw-Wort
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Hawkbit Saw-Wort
P Native Unknown Photo: Sunit Singh
Common name: Hawkbit Saw-Wort
Botanical name: Saussurea leontodontoides    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Leontodon kunthianus, Saussurea kunthiana, Saussurea irregularis

Hawkbit Saw-Wort is a perennial stemless or so herb 3-15 cm tall. Flowers-heads are solitary, in center of leaf rosette or at branch-ends on stem. Flowers are purplish red, 1.7-2.2 cm, tube 1-1.4 cm, limb to 7-8 mm, lobes 4-5 mm. Involucre is bell-shaped, 1-3 cm in diameter. Phyllaries are in 4-6 rows, straw-colored or yellowish green, green or purplish at margin, hairless; outer and middle phyllaries narrowly ovate-triangular, 9-12 x 0.5-3 mm; inner phyllaries narrowly elliptic to linear, 14-15 x 1.5-2 mm. Receptacle bristles are 2-3 mm. Caudex is usually branched, densely covered with remains of leaf-stalks, often with several leaf rosettes and flowering shoots. Stem if present simple, grayish white, woolly, becoming hairless. Rosette leaves are stalked; leaf-stalk 1-4 cm; leaf blade linear-oblong to narrowly elliptic, 3-18 x 0.8-2.5 cm, pinnately cut, below grayish white and densely woolly, above green, rough, bristly, and sometimes becoming hairless; segments 8-12 pairs, elliptic, semiround, four-edged, obliquely ovate, or nearly triangular, 4-15 x 2-10 mm, margin entire, tip rounded to blunt and with a short sharp point. Achenes are cylindric, 2-4 mm. Hawkbit Saw-Wort is found ion scree slopes, forests, forest margins, thickets, at altitudes of 3200-5500 m, throughout the Himalayas, and in parts of China. Flowering: August-November.

Identification credit: Sunit Singh Photographed at Sahastra Tal, Gangi, Uttarakhand.

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