Sahyadri Globe Thistle
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Sahyadri Globe Thistle
P Native Unknown Photo: Sushant More
Common name: Sahyadri Globe Thistle
Botanical name: Echinops sahyadricus    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Sahyadri Globe Thistle is a newly discovered (2020) plant from the Sahyadri hills. It is a perennial spiny robus herb, 1.2-1.8 m tall, branched above. Stems are one or two arising from the same base, grooved vertically, woolly, hairy whitish, dense. There are no rosette leaves. Stem leaves are about 18-30 x 7-10 cm, diminishing in size upwards, elliptic in outline, spiny, pointed, narrowed and almost stem-clasping at base, pinnately cut, with 7-8 pairs of tapering lobes; upper surface hairless to sparsely eglandular hairy; lower surface densely whitish arachnoid-woolly; margins spiny, curled, with spines 3-8 mm long. Primary flower-heads are spherical, 6-9 cm in diameter; secondary ones smaller, 3.5-4.4 cm in diameter. Brush (setae) 8-18 mm long, dull brownish-yellow. Phyllaries are 19-24, in 3-4 series, hairless; the outer 1.0-1.2 cm long, inverted-lanceshaped; the median 1.3-2.7 cm long, spoon-shaped-lanceshaped, in upper half with slightly laciniate margin, and spiny tips; the inner 2.5 cm long, fused forming a leathery tube; lobes five, unequal, laciniate at the tips; tube dilated, five angled. Receptacle is capitate, 7 mm in diameter, with common inverted-lanceshaped involucres 9-17 mm long. Florets are 3.2 cm long, bisexual. Flowers are white; tube 10 x 1 mm, glandular outside; lobes 7 mm long, hairless, recurved. Style is hairless, enclosed by anther tube, 2 cm long, bifurcate. Achenes are 1.3-1.5 cm long, oblongoid, densely hairy with light brownish hairs. Sahyadri Globe Thistle is found in northern Western Ghats, endemic to Maharashtra. Flowering: November-December.

Identification credit: Sushant More Photographed at Torna Fort & Rajgad Fort, Maharashtra.

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