All Floras      Advanced Search
FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 Page 58, 83, 165 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 | Asteraceae

15. Saussurea de Candolle, Ann. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 16: 156, 196, plates 10–13. 1810.

Saw-wort [For Nicolas Théodore (1767–1845) and Horace Bénédict (1740–1799) de Saussure, Swiss naturalists]

David J. Keil

Perennials, 5–120+ cm; herbage tomentose or glabrescent, not spiny. Stems erect or ascending, simple or branched. Leaves basal or cauline (sometimes cauline only), sessile or petiolate; blade margins entire or dentate to pinnately lobed, faces glabrous to densely tomentose, glandular or eglandular. Heads discoid, borne singly or in corymbiform arrays. Involucres ovoid to campanulate or ± turbinate. Phyllaries many in 3–5(–10+) series, subequal to strongly unequal, appressed or not, ovate to lanceolate, margins entire, toothed, or lobed, apices obtuse or acute, appendaged or not, not spine-tipped. Receptacles flat or convex, epaleate, smooth, usually subulate-scaly, sometimes bristly or naked. Florets 10–20; corollas white to blue or purple, tubes slender, abruptly expanded to throats, lobes linear; anther bases short-tailed, apical appendages linear, acute; style branches: fused portions with minutely hairy subterminal nodes, distinct portions oblong to linear, short-papillate. Cypselae oblong, ± angled, cylindric or 4–5-angled, ribs (when present) smooth or roughened, apices entire, glabrous or minutely glandular, attachment scars basal; pappi usually of 2 series, outer of readily falling, short bristles, inner persistent or falling as unit, of basally connate, usually longer, plumose bristles. x = 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19?.

Species 300–400 (6 in the flora): North America, Eurasia, 1 in Australia.

Saussurea is a notoriously difficult, largely Asiatic genus with species boundaries often indistinct.


Lipschitz, S. J. 1979. Rod Saussurea DC. (Asteraceae). Leningrad.

1 Outer and mid phyllaries with toothed or lobed appendages   6 Saussurea amara
+ Outer and mid phyllaries entire, without appendages   (2)
2 (1) Proximal leaves ovate to lanceolate, usually more than 30 mm wide, bases broadly obtuse to truncate or cordate; plants 30–120 cm   (3)
+ Proximal leaves linear to elliptic, 2–25 mm wide, bases acute to acuminate; plants 3–40 cm   (4)
3 (2) Cauline leaves usually more than 20, finely to ± coarsely serrate or dentate; s Alaska and Yukon to California, Idaho, and Montana   1 Saussurea americana
+ Cauline leaves usually 15 or fewer, coarsely laciniate-dentate; nw Alaska   2 Saussurea triangulata
4 (2) Phyllaries subequal, linear to lanceolate; receptacles naked   4 Saussurea nuda
+ Phyllaries strongly unequal, the outer ovate to lanceolate, conspicuously shorter than inner; receptacles scaly   (5)
5 (4) Tips of outer and mid phyllaries acute; Alaska and nw Canada   3 Saussurea angustifolia
+ Tips of outer and mid phyllaries ± rounded; Rocky Mountains   5 Saussurea weberi

Lower Taxa


Related Objects  

Photos by The Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains Project  
  • Image File (Susan L. Kelley)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Image File (David Boufford)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Image File (David Boufford)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Image File (David E. Boufford)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Image File (David E. Boufford)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Image File (Susan Kelley)
  • Image/JPEG

     |  eFlora Home |  People Search  |  Help  |  ActKey  |  Hu Cards  |  Glossary  |