Taraxacum melleum

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Taraxacum melleum

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Distribution

Asia-Tropical: West Himalaya (Jammu-Kashmir nativenativenativenativeA,B,C,D)

Description

"Plants ± small, ca. 7–10 cm tall. Petiole usually purplish, long, narrow, unwinged, plant base ± glabrous, with a persistent tunic; leaves mid-green to dull green, ± oblanceolate in outline, 0.7–2.5 cm wide, ± glabrous, with 1–2 pairs of patent, triangular lateral lobes usually 3–5 mm long, terminal segment large, ± narrowly triangular, with short patent basal lobules and subobtuse apex. Scape brownish green, sparsely arachnoid, equalling or ± overtopping leaves. Capitulum to 1.5–2 cm wide. Involucre 5–8 mm wide, rounded at base. Outer phyllaries 8–10 (11), black-green to dark green, ± imbricate, broadly ovate, the innermost ovate lanceolate, 2.8–3.5 (–5) × 2.0–2.5 mm, appressed, with a distinct whitish-membranous border 0.2–0.5 mm wide, margin minutely ciliate near apex, apex blackish to purplish, ± flat; inner phyllaries blackish green, 9–11 mm long, flat. Ligules yellow, outer ligules ± flat to canaliculate, striped blackish green to blackish purple, inner ligule teeth very long, blackish. Stigmas ± yellow or with reddish tinge or dirty yellow. Anthers polliniferous, pollen grains irregular in size. Achenes greyish stramineous brown (slightly fulvous when unripe), 5.3–5.7 × 1–1.1 mm, body with with subdense spinules in the upper part (and on cone base), gradually narrowing into subconical cone 0.6–0.8 mm long, ca. 0.3–0.4 mm thick at base, ca. 0.2 mm at apex; beak ca. 4–4.5 mm long, slightly thickened; pappus white, ca. 5 mm long. Agamosperm."

from Kirschner & al. (2020: 128)E

Systematics

Taraxacum melleum, treated as a member of T. sect. Orientalia by Soest (1963), actually is an intersectional intermediate close to T. sect. Variegata in the outer phyllaries but strongly deviating in achene features (Kirschner & al. 2020: 113, 130).

The conspecifity of T. melleum and T. ladakense was concluded by Kirschner & al. (2020: 130) based on the close resemblance in the leaf, outer phyllary and stigma characters.D,E

Bibliography

A. Ghafoor A. & al., Flora of Pakistan 222. Asteraceae (IV) Cichorieae. 2017
B. Hajra P. K., Rao R. R., Singh D. K. and Uniyal B. P., Flora of India 12. 1995
C. Kirschner J. & al., Taraxacum sect. Orientalia (Compositae-Crepidinae) and the West Himalayan dandelions: A new interpretation in Phytotaxa 312: 1-27. 2017
D. Soest J. L. van , Taraxacum species from India, Pakistan and neighbouring countries in Wentia 10: 1–91. 1963
E. Kirschner J., Štěpánek J., Klimeš L. & al., The Taraxacum flora of Ladakh, with notes on the adjacent regions of the West Himalaya in Phytotaxa 457: 1-409. 2020