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PICRIS Linnaeus Sp. Pl.. 2: 792. 1753.

Oxtongue [Greek picris , bitter or sharp; allusion unclear]

John L. Strother,

Annuals, biennials, or perennials, 10–100+ cm; tap- or fibrous-rooted, sometimes rhizomatous. Stems usually 1, erect, branched distally, hirsute to hispid or setose (hair tips often 2[–4]-hooked). Leaves basal and cauline (mostly cauline at flowering); basal ± petiolate, distal sessile; blades oblong, ovate, or lanceolate to oblanceolate or linear, margins entire or sinuate-dentate to pinnately lobed (faces hirsute to hispid or setose, hair tips 2[–4]-hooked). Heads usually in ± corymbiform arrays. Peduncles not inflated distally, sometimes bracteate. Calyculi of 8–13+, lanceolate to lance-linear bractlets (sometimes ± intergrading with phyllaries). Involucres campanulate to urceolate, 6–12+ mm diam. (sometimes larger in fruit). Phyllaries (8–)13+ in 1–2 series (reflexed in fruit), lanceolate to lance-linear (± flat or navicular proximally, sometimes each ± enfolding its subtended floret), equal, margins often scarious, apices acute. Receptacles flat to convex, ± pitted, glabrous, epaleate. Florets 30–100+; corollas yellow, often reddish abaxially. Cypselae homomorphic [heteromorphic], reddish brown [dark brown], bodies ± fusiform [compressed-ellipsoid], not beaked [beaks ± developed], ribs 5–10, faces transversely rugulose, glabrous; pappi falling, of 30–45+, whitish to stramineous, subequal, barbellulate to plumose bristles [scales] in 2–3+ series (basally connate, falling together). x = 5.

Species ca. 40 (2 in the flora):Europe; Asia; n Africa; also introduced in tropical Africa; Australia.;

1. Annuals; phyllaries navicular proximally, each enfolding its subtended floret; cypselae 2.5– 3 mm 1. Picris rhagadioloides
1. Biennials or perennials; phyllaries ± flat proximally, not each enfolding its subtended floret; cypselae 3–4(–6) mm 2. Picris hieracioides