Epilasia (Bunge) Benth. in Bentham & Hooker, Gen. Pl. 2: 532. 1873.

Zaika, Maxim A., Kilian, Norbert, Jones, Katy, Krinitsina, Anastasiya A., Nilova, Maya V., Speranskaya, Anna S. & Sukhorukov, Alexander P., 2020, Scorzonera sensu lato (Asteraceae, Cichorieae) - taxonomic reassessment in the light of new molecular phylogenetic and carpological analyses, PhytoKeys 137, pp. 1-85: 1

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Epilasia (Bunge) Benth. in Bentham & Hooker, Gen. Pl. 2: 532. 1873.


Epilasia (Bunge) Benth. in Bentham & Hooker, Gen. Pl. 2: 532. 1873.  

Scorzonera sect. Epilasia   Bunge, Beitr. Fl. Russl.: 200. 1852. Lectotype (designated by Lipschitz (1964: 111): Epilasia hemilasia   (Bunge) Kuntze

Diagnostic features.

Annual herbs; phyllaries in two rows, outer herbaceous, leaflike, about equalling in length the inner phyllaries; pollen with 18 lacunae; achenes with carpopodium; pappus arising from flat or caplike pappus disk, grey to blackish; bristles plumose, 5-10 of them longer, scabrid distally.


Habit, life form, subterranean parts: annual herbs with taproot.

Leaves: rosulate and lower stem leaves petiolate, upper stem leaves sessile, lanceolate to ovate, margin flat or somewhat undulate and serrulate.

Stem, synflorescence: stems solitary or more frequently several (three to five), glabrous to arachnoid hairy; capitula terminal, solitary or up to eight on the stem.

Pollen: echinolophate, tricolporate and each colpus divided into 2 lacunae, with 18 (6 aporal, 6 paraporal, 6 polar) lacunae ( Blackmore 1982), synapomorphic pollen type.

Capitula: involucre glabrous or hairy, phyllaries biseriate, outer 3-6 herbaceous, leaflike, about equal in length to the 5 inner linear-lanceolate phyllaries; receptacle flat, naked; florets more that 12, pale yellow to pale violet [or pale red or blue], more or less exceeding the involucre.

Achenes: 5-10 mm, terete or with 5-10 less distinct ribs, glabrous, with carpopodium and stout hair-like papillae; either with apical flat pappus disk and pappus ( E. acrolasia   , E. mirabilis   ) or with conic caplike pappus disk and pappus covering the upper half of the achene ( E. hemilasia   ); pericarp with thin-walled subepidermal parenchymatous sheath, the cell walls of which can be filled with the tannins and continuous sclerenchymatous layers orientated parallel to the fruit axis (but sometimes perpendicular in the ribs of E. mirabilis   ), air cavities absent.

Pappus: 5-8 mm, dense, ash-grey or rusty, five of its bristles (rarely more) fragile, barbellate at tip, other bristles long-plumose or rarely bristles plumose in lower portion and scabrid in upper portion.

Chromosome number.

x = 12, amphiploids.


(1) E. acrolasia   (Bunge) C.B.Clarke ex Lipsch.

(2) E. hemilasia   (Bunge) Kuntze

(3) E. mirabilis   Lipsch.

Distribution area.

Asia-Temperate: AF; AM; AZ; CN; GE; IQ; IR; KG; KZ; LB; SY; TJ; TM; UZ. Asia-Tropical: PK.