Inula rhizocephala Schrenk, Enum. Pl. Nov. 1: 51. 1841. (Syn: Conyza rhizocephala (Schrenk) Rupr. ; Inula rhizocephala var. intermedia Kitam.; Inula rhizocephala var. rhizocephaloides (C.B.Clarke) Kitam.);
Common name: Stemless Inula



Another first for eFI.  Unfortunately, I only have a couple of images of this available scanned in from slides taken in Ladakh in the 1980s on open, grazed ground near Matayan which is the first main settlement as one crosses over the Zoji La before reaching Dras. The ground was flat & heavily grazed.  See attached images.
The variety which ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ distinguishes on the basis of a lack of ray-florets and hairless achenes certainly looks different to the images on google (assuming they are correct) of Inula rhizocephala.
‘Flowers of Himalaya’ say open slopes in drier areas @ 2100-3000m from Pakistan to Kashmir. Quite unlike any other member of the genus with a rosette of spathulate leaves and domed stalkless cluster of yellow flower-heads densely grouped at the centre of the rosette.
My team from the University of Southampton Ladakh Expedition 1980 found this plant at 3000m at Sankoo in the Suru Valley on a mountain slope amongst broken rocks in stony soil with grasses, Artemisia, Cirsium and Salix; the yellow flower-heads were reddish as they developed.  The following year members of the Southampton University Botanical Expedition to Zanskar found this plant to be occasional at Rantakshuk 3200m on the dry rocky valley floor where a stream had caused growth of a grassy ‘lawn’.
Come to think of it, a very similar habitat to that where I came across the plant near Matayan.
Stewart recorded both variety intermedia and var. rhizocephaloides.  The former in Chitral & Gilgit. The latter variety is common along irrigation channels in Ladakh. No records from the Kashmir Valley.


My memory is not what it was.  I had forgotten about Marijn’s 2 images of this species in Baltistan, see:

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