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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 20-21 | Asteraceae

63. Sonchus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 793. 1753.

苦苣菜属 ku ju cai shu

Authors: Zhu Shi & Norbert Kilian

Herbs, annual, biennial, or perennial. Stem erect, not or sparsely branched below synflorescence, leafy. Leaves pinnate to undivided. Synflorescence corymbiform or paniculiform, with few to numerous capitula. Capitula with usually 70-300 florets. Involucre campanulate to broadly campanulate, as peduncle often with stipitate glandular hairs and basally ± white tomentose. Phyllaries green, glabrous or glandular hairy; outer phyllaries in several series, gradually longer centripetally, ± imbricate with longest 1/2-3/4 as long as inner ones; inner phyllaries 8-15, ± equal in length, linear-lanceolate to linear. Receptacle naked. Florets yellow. Achene brownish, ovoid to ellipsoid, compressed, narrowed toward both ends, with (4 or)5 main ribs usually accompanied by 2 secondary ribs, smooth or transversely wrinkled. Pappus white, caducous or persistent, of numerous soft fine outer bristles intermixed with some thicker often ± easily caducous inner bristles.

About 90 species in its wider circumscription: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Pacific islands (New Zealand); five species (two introduced) in China.

The revised, wider circumscription of Sonchus is based on molecular phylogenetic analyses by S. C. Kim et al. (Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 44: 578-597. 2007) and includes several former segregates, which, however, are not present in China.

The main diversity of this genus is in E Africa, the W Mediterranean region, and the mid-Atlantic archipelagos.

1 Achene distinctly oblanceolate in outline, strongly or distinctly compressed, space between slender ribs much wider than main ribs; annuals (or biennials)   (2)
+ Achene narrowly ellipsoid, moderately to weakly compressed, space between ribs usually narrower than ribs; perennials   (3)
2 (1) Achene strongly compressed, ± winged, smooth when fully mature; auricles of middle stem leaves rounded and appressed.   4 S. asper
+ Achene distinctly compressed, not winged, distinctly wrinkled when fully mature; auricles of middle stem leaves usually acutely prostrate.   5 S. oleraceus
3 (1) Outer phyllaries triangular-ovate to lanceolate, 1.5-3 mm wide; peduncles and involucres never glandular hairy; pappus persistent, 1.1-1.2 cm.   1 S. brachyotus
+ Outer phyllaries ± linear-lanceolate, 1-2 mm wide; peduncles and involucres mostly glandular hairy or more rarely non-glandular; pappus persistent or caducous, 6-9 mm   (4)
4 (3) Pappus persistent; peduncles and involucres glandular hairy or not; achene ± elliptic in cross section, with 1(or 2) weakly prominent main rib(s) on either face; plants with a taproot.   2 S. wightianus
+ Pappus caducous ± as a unit; peduncles and involucres always glandular hairy; achene ± quadrangular in cross section, with 1 very strongly prominent main rib on either face; plants with a short thick rhizome.   3 S. palustris

Lower Taxa


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