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A Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Sonsari • Marathi: सोनसरी Sonsari
Botanical name: Vicoa cernua    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Inula cernua, Inula dalzellii, Pentanema cernuum

Sonsari is an erect annual herb 20-25 cm tall. Stem is covered with velvety hairs. The upper part of the plant has many slender branches in corymbs. Alternately arranged elliptic, lancelike leaves are 5-8 cm long. The leaves have serrated margins, and the are covered with hairs on both sides. While the lower leaves have stalk, the upper ones are stalkless and stem-clasping, with heart-shaped base. Yellow flower-heads, 2 cm across, occur in corymbs, on verly slender, hairy, branched stalks. The species name cernuum means nodding, referring to the flowers on the slender, bending stalks. Leaf-like bracts are present in the middle of the flower-stalks. Ray flowers are 20-40 in number, linear and 3-notched at the tip. Sonsari is occasionally seen in forest clearings at high elevations in the Western Ghats. Flowering: November-February.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé, J.M. Garg Photographed at Tungi Fort, Lonavala-Pawna, Maharashtra.

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