2. Taraxacum sect. Leucantha Soest, Wentia. 10: 6. 1963.
白花蒲公英组 bai hua pu gong ying zu
Leaves and scapes sparsely arachnoid to subglabrous. Capitulum erect after anthesis. Outer phyllaries (9 or)10-16(-19), greenish to dark green, imbricate or sometimes not so, ovate to lanceolate, usually tightly appressed, border paler or reddish and usually broad or less often narrow or absent, usually not corniculate near apex. Florets white, whitish yellow, pale yellowish (more deeply yellow in center of capitulum), or yellow. Achene pale grayish or brownish straw-colored, subdensely coarsely spinulose with subacute stout spinules often slightly curved upward, apically subgradually to subabruptly narrowing into a usually subcylindric 0.7-1 × 0.4-0.5 mm cone; beak 5-7 mm, sometimes thick but usually thin. Pappus white or brownish discolored, 5-7 mm.
About 23 species: Afghanistan, China, India, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan; 13 species (four endemic) in China.
Part of the sectional diversity center is in SW China.
In Hebei, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, and Shanxi sexual representatives of Taraxacum sect. Leucantha were detected. They are very variable in leaf shape and by their outer phyllary characters belong to the group of T. sinicum and T. dealbatum. Further research is needed.
Taraxacum leucanthum (Ledebour) Ledebour (Fl. Ross. 2: 815. 1846) has been reported as a member of the Chinese flora (FRPS 80(2): 14. 1999; Higher Pl. China 11: 769. 2005). The name usually covers most of the diversity of the whole section in the literature. We failed to find any specimen belonging to this species in the material studied. However, T. leucanthum might be found in NW Xinjiang. High mountain plants from Gansu, Qinghai, and Xizang reported in the literature under this name belong to other taxa (in part, probably to T. candidatum), but a revision is inevitable.