Snow-White Cudweed
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Snow-White Cudweed
P Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Snow-White Cudweed
Botanical name: Phagnalon niveum    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Phagnalon acuminatum, Phagnalon denticulatum

Snow-White Cudweed is a subshrub, with erect or prostrate stem, 10-30 cm tall, few to profusely branched, branches and stem densely covered with snow-white cottony wool. Branches are densely leafy. Leaves are variable in shape and size, lanceshaped, inverted-lanceshaped, linear-oblong, or spoon-shaped, 8-35 x 4-8 mm, densely white cottony below, less so or hairless above, sometimes much narrowed into a stalkless base, margin entire, wavy, toothed, or shallowly lobed, tip blunt or subblunt. Flower-cluster-stalks are erect, 20-70 mm, covered with white cottony wool, bearing a single flower-head. Flower-heads are 0.8-1.2 cm in diameter, multiflorous. Phyllaries are many seriate, densely floccose-woolly; outer phyllaries subulate to narrowly lanceshaped, 2-2.5 x about 0.5 mm; middle ones 3-3.5 x about 0.5 mm, gradually narrowed into an needle-shaped point; inner phyllaries subulate, 6-7 x about 0.5 mm, long tapering. Bisexual florets are tubular, 5-6 mm, tube hairless, lobes small, rounded, hairy at tips. Snow-White Cudweed is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan, Kashmir to Nepal, at altitudes of 1700-3000 m. Flowering: May-August.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar, Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Khokhan Wildlife Sanctuary, Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh.

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