Sphaeranthus species in India:
Given below are the relevant key characters from Flora of India:
a. Stems not winged —> Sphaeranthus amaranthoides
b. Stems winged:
b-i) wings entire; flower-heads <1 cm across ---> S. africanus
b-ii) wings toothed; heads up to 2.5 cm across; leaves single-dentate —> S. senegalensis
In S. indicus, the leaves are double-dentate.
1a. Stems not winged or rarely narrowly winged; glomeruli conical, subsessile, brownish; outer florets not more than 4 ——–2. Sphaeranthus amaranthoides
b. Stems winged; glomeruli spherical or ovoid, pedunculate, glabrous, white, purple or violet; outer florets more than 4 ——–2
2a. Wings entire, glomeruli not more than 1 cm across; peduncles glabrous; involucral bracts not ciliate at apex —————–1. Sphaeranthus africanus
b. Wings toothed; glomeruli up to 2.5 cm across, peduncles pubescent; involucral bracts ciliate at apex ————————–3
3a. Leaves double-dentate and with stalked glands ———-Sphaeranthus indicus
b. Leaves single dentate and with sessile glands ————-Sphaeranthus senegalensis
(Ref. Flora of India Vol.13-Asteraceae (Inuleae-Vernonieae) By R.K. Hajra et al.1995. BSI, India)
Sphaeranthus (Asteraceae (Compositae)) page with images of species in efloraofindia : 1 post by 1 author.
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