Lactuca zambesiaca

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Lactuca zambesiaca

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An erect perennial herb, often viscid, up to c. 150(200) cm tall; taproot semi-woody turbinate. Stems solitary, branching above, glabrous, green and often purple-tinged. Leaves contemporaneous with flowers, ± membranous, glabrous, 18-32 x 0.25-1.5 cm, narrowly elliptic to linear-lanceolate, usually with 2-4 well developed lobes in the lower half, ± attenuate and acute at the apex, narrowly attenuate below and usually semi-amplexicaul at the base, subentire; terminal lobe 12-23 cm long, elliptic-linear; lateral lobes 0.5-6 cm long, very narrowly triangular. Synflorescences paniculate, up to c. 40 x 15 cm, cylindrical; branches divaricate slender glabrous. Capitula numerous, stalked; stalks 1.5-12 mm long; involucres 8-9 x 1.5-2 mm at time of flowering, increasing to c. 12 x 2.5 mm in fruiting capitula cylindric. Phyllaries ciliolate above otherwise glabrous, guttulate, green and often purple-tinged where exposed; the outermost less than half the length of the inner, broadly ovate; the innermost 9-11 x 1-2 mm, linear-lanceolate, margins becoming involute except near the apices. Florets c. 5 per capitulum; corollas yellow, up to c. 12 mm long, tube narrowly cylindric, sparsely pilose near the throat; ligule c. 6 mm long, erect. Achenes dark-brown to black, 5-6.5 x 1.5-2 mm including a 1-1.5 mm long paler-coloured beak, compressed-ellipsoid, broadly thickened at the margins, narrowly 1-ribbed on each face, hispidulous or glabrous; pappus several-seriate, of white barbellate setae c. 6 mm long.

from: Pope, G. V. 1992: Flora Zambesiaca 6, part 1. – London.


Africa: AngolanativeA,B,C,D; ZairenativeC,D; ZambianativeB,C,D


A. Figueiredo E. & Smith G. F., Plants of Angola in Strelitzia 22. 2008
B. Jeffrey C., Notes on Compositae: 1. The Cichorieae In East Tropical Africa in Kew Bull. 18 (3): 427-552. 1966
C. Lawalrée A., Dethier D. & Gilissen E., Flore d'Afrique Centrale (Zaire-Rwanda-Burundi). Spermatophytes, Compositae I. 1986
D. Pope G. V., Flora Zambesiaca 6(1). 1992