Hindukush Senecio
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Hindukush Senecio
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Hindukush Senecio
Botanical name: Senecio krascheninnikovii    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Senecio hindukushensis, Senecio kashmirianus,

Hindukush Senecio is an annual herb with leaves cut into linear segments and yellow flower-heads with 4-7 ray florets. Flower-heads are few to many, at branch-ends, in lax corymbs; flower-cluster-stalks 1-3 cm, slender, rather densely to sparsely white velvet-hairy; bracteoles 2-4, linear-subulate. Involucres are narrowly bell-shaped, 5-7 × 1.5-4 mm, calyculate; phyllaries 13-15, linear or linear-lanceshaped, 0.3-0.5 mm wide, herbaceous, with narrow membranous margins, hairless, tip pointed-tapering, sometimes dark tipped. Ray florets 4-7; flower tube 3-3.5 mm; blade yellow, oblong, very short, 2-2.5 mm, hardly exceeding involucre, 4-veined, apically 3-finely toothed, becoming curled. Disk florets are many; flower yellow, about 5.5 mm, with about 3 mm tube and narrowly funnel-shaped limb. Stems are erect, 5-30 cm tall, branching from base or in upper part; branches erect or divaricate-spreading, slender, sparsely velvet-hairy or nearly hairless. Leaves are stalkless; blade ovate-oblong, 1.5-5 × 0.4-1.5 cm, both surfaces sparsely velvet-hairy to nearly hairless, base slightly dilated and somewhat stem-clasping, pinnatifid to finely and deeply pinnatisect with 4-8 usually narrow, linear, irregularly finely toothed or entire lateral lobes, tip blunt to subpointed. Upper leaves are smaller, pinnately lobed to linear and subentire. Achenes cylindric, 2.5-3 mm, sparsely adpressed velvet-hairy. Pappus white, about 5.5 mm. Hindukush Senecio is found on gravelly slopes, sandy places at altitudes of 1800-3900 m, in NE Afghanistan, NW India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan; SW Asia (Iran). Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal, Varun Sharma Photographed in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.

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