Saussurea gossypiphora D.Don, in Mem. Wern. Soc. iii. (1821) 414. 1821. (Syn: Cnicus gossypinus Wall. ex DC.;  Eriocoryne nidularis Wall. ex DC.;                        Aplotaxis gossypina DC.; Saussurea gossypina Wall.);
Images by C.S.Rana (1) and Suresh Rana (2,3)



Flora Picture of the year 2011: Suresh Rana: I am sharing the photograph of Saussurea hopefully Saussurea gossypiphora as my Flora of year 2011.

During the month of August 2011 I was in alpine regions of my area with my cousin for field study. We spent many nights in the natural caves and that was an unforgettable experiences. On 6th August 2011 we stayed in a cave at an altitude of 4800 meters asl and decided to spend the whole day of 7th August above the altitude of 5000 meters asl in order to collect the high altitude species of Saussurea, Rhodiola, Saxifraga etc. But unfortunately it started raining at 4 a.m. and we were unable to decide whether to go higher or come down. At last we waited till 12 p.m when the rain stopped and we went higher. At the higher altitude we found many beautiful plants among which this one was the most beautiful growing in the crevices rocks at a height of 5200 meters asl.

Unique one. Had been seeing so many of your high altitude plants but this one is some thing special.

Simply superb creation of nature and your photography skills also your devotion, daring and determination is admirable.

Yes Saussurea gossypiphora a very rare plant to see …

Thanks a lot for your kind and encouraging words. The membership in EFI has increased my passion of plant haunting and I am waiting eagerly for next favourable season in Himalayas. I will try my best to collect some unique plants from Himalayas and share them on EFI.



Saussurea gossypiphora:  Saussurea gossypiphora from Hemkund photo taken on 22.08.2012

Yes … very nice…we missed the opportunity to see this..our bad luck we couldn’t see anything at Hemkunt Sahib due to bad climate…nice to see the pics…missing it



Saussurea graminifolia?: Pls validate Saussurea graminifolia, photographed at Hemkund 22.08.2012

Yes as per Flora of Chamoli

Heads silky, 2.5-3 , 6 cm in dia anther tail fimbriate

A fear this plant, and the one depicted on Flowers of India (both look similar) may not be Saussurea graminifolia for two very important reasons:

1. leaves are grasslike and totally entire
2. Head is single and not clustered.
I feel it may just be a form of S. gossypiphora, unless these identifications are wrong:

not splitting hairs with you … your concern is valid…
art prints in demand site may not be very scientific to say the least…
the maker seems to be

  • picture : artist artist ( what does that mean?)
  • Bridgeman Berlin seems to be the picture maker
  • who is he???
  • who identified his picture for him???
  • for any print sold at this website the artist // Bridgeman will make USD 11.94 …
  • I am always a bit skeptical of these people who go visiting India and come back home and sell pictures they took… this one is innocent flower and very pretty too… but gets my goat when I see them selling pictures of poor people or some old woman begging…

    This plant is not S. graminifolia, I think is more important. This link should help satisfy.
    Perhaps we can find exact identification only after we are satisfied that it is not S. graminifolia. Grasslike totally entire leaves and single head is more crucial for this species. I had myself doubts about correct identification of these sites that is why I had mentioned the same. S. gossypiphora and perhaps also S. medusa are closest matches though not exactly identical

       I think you are right. This plant should be Saussurea gossypiphora
    The plant on FOI is different from this one, with exposed flower-heads on top. That one is Saussurea simpsoniana

    Yes … The two S. simpsoniana and S. gossypiphora are very different, the heads being totally exposed in former and completely immersed in wool in later.

    Incidentally S. simposoniana is a very important and rare medicinal known in Indian Floras under the name S. sacra (I hope you should list this synonym), the Yogi Pathsha plant or King of Yogis plant. It is described in Flowers of Kashmir by Coverntry , a rare, and according to the legend if a person collects more than seven plants, he may die.

    Attachments (1).  2 posts by 2 authors.

    Known as ‘Phen Kamal’ in Uttarakhand this curious looking plant is Saussurea gossypiphora D.Don.

    This species of Saussurea is found very close to snowline (4600-5500m in Uttarakhand) among the boulders and scree slopes. As compared to S.obvallata this species is rarer.

    The phograph was taken by … of H.N.B.Garhwal University Srinagar Garhwal from Hemkund area.



    Saussurea gossypiphora (Asteraceae) from Uttarakhand: Sep.2014_DSR_13 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1).

    Saussurea gossypiphora (Asteraceae) photographed above Bhagabasa near Roopkund (Chamoli) Uttarakhand. 4600m altitude. 

    A very interesting plant … I think this can give illusion of snow even from close vicinity..