Slender Salsify
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Slender Salsify
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Slender Salsify
Botanical name: Tragopogon gracilis    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Tragopogon junceum

Slender Salsify is a perennial herb, up to 20 cm tall. Stems are few, simple, slender, erect, hairless. Basal and lower-stem leaves are narrow-lanceshaped, 7-15 mm long, 0.2-0.4 mm wide, margin sometimes rounded. Flower-heads are borne singly on a stalks which is not inflated. Involucre is 1.8-2.3 cm at anthesis, up to 3.5 cm in fruit. Phyllaries are 5-7, shorter than florets and equaling achenes with pappus. Florets are bicolored, pink or mauve spotted below, yellow above. Outer achenes are 1.3-1.8 cm, body pale brown, slightly curviform, 1.3-1.6 mm in diameter. Pappus is dirty white, 1.5-2 cm. Slender Salsify is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Nepal, at altitudes of 1500-3200 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand & Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.

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