ELEPHANTOPUS Elephantopus Linnaeus Sp. Pl.. 2: 814. 1753.
Elephant’s foot [Greek elephantos , elephant, and pous , foot; probably alluding to rosettes of basal leaves in original species]
John L. Strother,
Perennials, (1–)2–8(–12+) dm; often rhizomatous or stoloniferous. Leaves mostly basal or mostly cauline at flowering; sessile or petiolate, petioles ± winged (often clasping at bases); blades mostly elliptic, ovate, or obovate to lanceolate, oblanceolate, or spatulate (rarely orbiculate), bases ± cuneate, margins usually toothed (rarely entire), apices obtuse to acute, abaxial or both faces usually resin-gland-dotted. Heads ± discoid, sessile, not individually bracteate, in clusters of (1–)10–40+ in corymbiform-paniculiform arrays 6–15(–25) cm diam. (each cluster subtended by 2–3 ± deltate bracts). Involucres ± cylindric, 1–3+ mm diam. Phyllaries 8 in 4 decussate pairs, the outer 4 ovate, inner 4 lanceolate, all ± chartaceous, margins entire, tips ± spinose to apiculate, abaxial faces of inner 4 usually dotted distally with resin glands. Florets (1–)4(–5+); corollas white or pink to purple, tubes longer than abruptly funnelform throats, lobes 5, lance-linear, unequal (abaxial sinus deepest). Cypselae ± clavate, sometimes ± flattened, 10-nerved or -ribbed, strigillose to hirsutulous; pappi persistent, of 5(–6), 1-aristate scales (look closely for squamiform, gradually to abruptly tapering base of each arista). x = 11.
Species 12–15+ (4 in the flora):mostly warm-temperate; subtropical; and tropical regions worldwide; sometimes as naturalized ruderals.;
Pseudelephantopus spicatus is sometimes treated as a member of Elephantopus.
Clonts, J. A. 1972. A Revision of the Genus Elephantopus Including Orthopappus and Pseudelephantopus (Compositae). Ph.D. thesis. Mississippi State University.
|1.||Leaves at flowering all or mostly cauline||1. Elephantopus carolinianus|
|1.||Leaves at flowering mostly basal (cauline leaves much smaller or wanting).||(2.)|
|2.||Inner phyllaries 9–11+ mm; pappi 6–8 mm||2. Elephantopus tomentosus|
|2.||Inner phyllaries 6–8 mm; pappi 3–4.5 mm.||(3.)|
|3.||Inner phyllaries ± densely strigose-villous with hairs (0.3–)0.5–1 mm; cypselae 3– 3.5 mm||3. Elephantopus elatus|
|3.||Inner phyllaries sparsely strigose or hispidulous with hairs 0.05–0.3(–0.5) mm; cypselae 2.5–3 mm||4. Elephantopus nudatus|