Himalayan Blue Sow-Thistle
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Himalayan Blue Sow-Thistle
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Himalayan Blue Sow-Thistle, Himalayan Rattlesnake Root
Botanical name: Melanoseris brunoniana    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Prenanthes brunoniana, Lactuca brunoniana, Cicerbita brunoniana

Himalayan Blue Sow-Thistle is an erect perennial plant found in the Himalayas. Prenanthes plants are called Rattlesnake Roots because early folklore, about some species, suggested that the plant could be rubbed on snakebites to aid in healing. It has simple or branched stems 30-200 cm, which are often glandular-hairy above. Leaves vary a lot - leaf blade is triangular-heart-shaped or with cut-off base, toothed or pinnately lobed, lobes further toothed or lobed. Leaf stalks can be long or short. Flower blue, purple or sometimes white, 1.3-2 cm long, in numerous in lax branched clusters at the end of branches. The botanical name Prenanthes means bowed flowers, indicating the facing down habit of flowers. The five narrow, long petals are turned back, and very long blue and white stamens protrude out. This flowers is commonly found at altitudes of 1800-3600 m. Flowering July-October.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.

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