Ann. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 16: 156, 196, plates 10–13. 1810
Perennials, 5–120+ cm; herbage tomentose or glabrescent, not spiny. Stems erect or ascending, simple or branched. Leaves basal or cauline (sometimes cauline only), sessile or petiolate; blade margins entire or dentate to pinnately lobed, faces glabrous to densely tomentose, glandular or eglandular. Heads discoid, borne singly or in corymbiform arrays. Involucres ovoid to campanulate or ± turbinate. Phyllaries many in 3–5(–10+) series, subequal to strongly unequal, appressed or not, ovate to lanceolate, margins entire, toothed, or lobed, apices obtuse or acute, appendaged or not, not spine-tipped. Receptacles flat or convex, epaleate, smooth, usually subulate-scaly, sometimes bristly or naked. Florets 10–20; corollas white to blue or purple, tubes slender, abruptly expanded to throats, lobes linear; anther bases short-tailed, apical appendages linear, acute; style branches: fused portions with minutely hairy subterminal nodes, distinct portions oblong to linear, short-papillate. Cypselae oblong, ± angled, cylindric or 4–5-angled, ribs (when present) smooth or roughened, apices entire, glabrous or minutely glandular, attachment scars basal; pappi usually of 2 series, outer of readily falling, short bristles, inner persistent or falling as unit, of basally connate, usually longer, plumose bristles. x = 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19?.
North America, Eurasia, 1 in Australia.
Species 300–400 (6 in the flora).
Saussurea is a notoriously difficult, largely Asiatic genus with species boundaries often indistinct.
|1||Outer and mid phyllaries with toothed or lobed appendages||Saussurea amara|
|1||Outer and mid phyllaries entire, without appendages||> 2|
|2||Proximal leaves ovate to lanceolate, usually more than 30 mm wide, bases broadly obtuse to truncate or cordate; plants 30–120 cm||> 3|
|2||Proximal leaves linear to elliptic, 2–25 mm wide, bases acute to acuminate; plants 3–40 cm||> 4|
|3||Cauline leaves usually more than 20, finely to ± coarsely serrate or dentate; s Alaska and Yukon to California, Idaho, and Montana||Saussurea americana|
|3||Cauline leaves usually 15 or fewer, coarsely laciniate-dentate; nw Alaska||Saussurea triangulata|
|4||Phyllaries subequal, linear to lanceolate; receptacles naked||Saussurea nuda|
|4||Phyllaries strongly unequal, the outer ovate to lanceolate, conspicuously shorter than inner; receptacles scaly||> 5|
|5||Tips of outer and mid phyllaries acute; Alaska and nw Canada||Saussurea angustifolia|
|5||Tips of outer and mid phyllaries ± rounded; Rocky Mountains||Saussurea weberi|