Winged Senecio
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Winged Senecio
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Winged Senecio
Botanical name: Synotis alata    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Senecio alatus

Winged Senecio is a perennial rhizome forming herb, Rhizome is thick, woody, branching. Vegetative stem is creeping, ascending, or erect, 30-50 cm, leafless in lower part, leafy in upper part or at tip only, rusty hairy or villous. Flowering stem is solitary, erect, scape-like, 20-60 cm tall. Leaves at base of flowering stems are stalked, Stalks are 5-10 cm, broadly to narrowly winged, at least toward base, broadly ovate to lanceshaped, 9-22 x 4.5-12 cm, membranous, margin obscurely wavy and minutely toothed or coarsely and irregularly toothed. Flowering stem leaves are usually few, smaller, stalkless, ovate-oblong or elliptic to lanceolate-oblong. Upper leaves are often narrowed at tip, basally stem-clasping. Flower-heads are rather few to very numerous, arranged in narrowly to broadly pyramidal thyrsoid corymbs or branched thyrsoid panicles. Flower-head stalks are 1-3 mm, densely velvety, minutely bracteate, 1- or 2-bracteolate. Involucres cylindric, 5-7 x about 1.5 mm. Ray florets are 2, corolla 2-3.5 mm, truncate or minutely radiate, shorter than style. Disk florets are 2 or 3 (or 4), yellow, 7-7.5 mm, with 2.5-3 mm tube and funnelform limb; lobes ovate-oblong, 1-1.2 mm. Seed-pods are about 1.5 mm, puberulent or glabrous. Pappus white, 5-6 mm. Winged Senecio is found in the Himalayas, from Himachal Pradesh to NE India, at altitudes of 1900-4000 m. Flowering: August-November.

Identification credit: J.M.Garg, D.S.Rawat Photographed in the Great Hinalayan National Park, HImachal Pradesh.

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