Louisa Saw-Wort
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Louisa Saw-Wort
P Native Photo: Sunit Singh
Common name: Louisa Saw-Wort
Botanical name: Saussurea atkinsonii    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Theodorea atkinsonii

Louisa Saw-Wort is a clustered perennial herb, with rootstock short, moderately thick, unbranched, brown; main roots dense, about 1 mm thick, blackish. It is named for Caroline Louisa Waring Atkinson Calvert (1834-1872), lady Audtralian naturalist and writer. Stem is usually absent, or upto 2 cm long. Leaves are in a basal rosette, 3-5, prostrate, spreading radially, blade ovate-elliptic, 3-10 x 1-6 cm, membranous, leathery, hairless or becoming hairless on both surfaces, coarsely runcinate-toothed, the teeth pointed or ending in a short mucro, tip pointed or blunt, with a short sharp point, prominently pinnato-netveined, midrib and veins on the lower surface sparingly hairy; base narrowed, leaf-stalk upto 1 cm long. Flower-heads are solitary or upto 3 together, surrounded by the leaves, nearly stalkless, cylindric, 2-3 long and 1.5-2.5 cm broad. Flowers are about 1.7 cm long, dull purple, thick part about 4 rem long, lobes about 3 mm, linear. Receptacular scales are subulate, upto 5 mm long. Involucre is cylindric, as long as the pappus; bracts in 3-series, ovate, blunt or tapering-with a short sharp point, hairless, thinly striped, pale brown, somewhat dark-tipped, outer bracts mere so; the outer bracts slightly shorter than the inner, somewhat leaf-like, ovate, pointed, erect or recurved at the tip, about 8 mm long and about 3 mm broad; median bracts about 9 mm long and about 3 mm broad; innermost about I cm long and about 3 mm broad, scarious, hairless with minutely hairy margin. Achenes cylindric, about 3 mm long, brown, base flat, hairless, longi-tudinally stripedd. Pappus brown, outer few, short, deciduous; inner setae about 30, basally fused, about 1.2 cm long, thinly plumose. Louisa Saw-Wort is found at altitudes of 2500-4000 m, in Pakistan and West Himalaya.

Identification credit: Sunit Singh Photographed Kailash Kund, Bhaderwaj J&K.

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