Taraxacum sect. Epyramidata

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Taraxacum sect. Epyramidata

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Common names

Chinese (China): 短喙蒲公英组 duan hui pu gong ying zu

Systematics

This section usually was known as Taraxacum sect. Oligantha, but according to Kirschner & al. (in Phytotaxa 57: 138. 2020), the original material of the name Taraxacum oliganthum, which provides the type of the name T. sect. Oligantha, consists of plants belonging to several species, and the correct identity of the lectotype, lacking achenes, is difficult to establish. It may well belong to a taxon that is not a member of this section, such as T. bithynicum or T. pseudobithynicum. Therefore these authors replaced the former section name by one that is unequivocal.

Taraxacum sect. Epyramidata includes 13 species which clearly have all sectional diagnostic characters; another five species probably belonging to it (Kirschner & Štěpánek 2017). The absolute majority of them are known from the Pamiro-Alai mountain system (mostly Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), a few occur in the Tian-Shan (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan). The section is largely unexplored in the other regions, mainly the West Himalaya, S and W Xinjiang, Afghanistan, Iran (and Turkey if really present there) (Kirschner & al. 2020: 139).A,B

Description

"Flowers and leaves develop simultaneously. Plants usually small. Plant base densely hairy. Middle leaves usually arachnoid. Leaves deeply lobate but lobation uncomplicated and lobes sparsely toothed. Leaf lobes often patent. Midrib without striatulate pattern, leaf blade unspotted. Petioles narrow, unwinged. Scapes unbranched, growing from the centre of leaf rosette, arachnoid, particularly below the capitulum. Involucre with subconical to rounded base, narrow, usually up to 6 mm wide. Flowers yellow. Florets usually few (usually less than 30). Ligules flat. Pollen usually present. Outer phyllaries callose to corniculate or with horns at the apex, inner phyllaries usually corniculate. Outer phyllaries 6 to 10, imbricate or at least slightly imbricate, usually tightly appressed or appressed, lanceolate to ovate, short, usually less than 5–6 mm. Outer phyllaries with narrow or broad paler borders, sparsely to densely arachnoid outside, sometimes inside, and often long ciliate. Achenes usually pale greyish straw brown, with several (not always clearly visible) longitudinal ridges, almost smooth or very sparsely spinulose above, spinules few, remote, achenes 5–6.5 mm long, medium thick, very gradually and indistinctly narrowing to the cone, or cone not developed. Cone, when developed, thick, broadly conical or indistinct, 0.2–1.2 mm long. Beak thick, 0.2–4.0 mm long, persistent. Pappus 4.5–6 mm long, white to yellowish, deciduous. Receptacle glabrous or with a few arachnoid hairs marginally. Plants apomictic, sexuality not yet safely proven."

from Kirschner & Štěpánek (2017: 257-258) and Kirschner & al. (2020: 139) A,B

Distribution

Asia-Temperate: Afghanistan nativenative; Altay native; Iran nativenative; Iraq nativenative; Kirgizistan native; Mongolia native; Tadzhikistan native; Tibet native; Transcaucasus (Armenia native: presence questionable); Turkey native; Uzbekistan native; Xinjiang native Asia-Tropical: Nepal native; Pakistan nativenative; West Himalaya (Jammu-Kashmir native)

Bibliography

A. Kirschner J. & Štěpánek J., A revision of Taraxacum sect. Atrata, a dandelion group centred in the Middle Asia, and the problem of Taraxacum brevirostre in Phytotaxa 305: 225-261. 2017
B. 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