Family:- COMPOSITAE/Sect. COTA
Common Name:- None
Meaning:- Anthemis (Gr) Flowery.
Melanolepsis (L) With black scales
General description:- Annual, sparsely hairy or subglabrous, with wide spreading
(divaricate), branches, lying (decumbent) along the ground from the base.
Stems:- Erect or ascending, branched above to give a flat-topped inflorescence.
Leaves:- Stemless (sessile), oblong, 1- to 2-pinnatipartite; lobes ovate to oblong,
ending abruptly in a sharp point (mucronate).
Flowers:- Stalks not or slightly club-shaped (clavate) in fruit. Involucre nearly flat;
bracts subglabrous, the outer ovate-lanceolate, acute, the others oblong-lanceolate,
with a narrow paper-like (scarious) margin and acute or subacute apex. Ligules
10 x 2·5 mm, oblong-linear, sometimes suffused with red or purple, deflexed. Disc
up to 13 mm in diam. Receptacle depressed-hemispherical; scales brownish-purple
towards the apex, wedge-shaped (cuneate), gradually narrowing (attenuate) to a
rigid, curved or flexuous awl-shaped (subulate) point slightly shorter than the scale,
equalling or shorter than the florets.
Fruit:- Achenes 2-2·5 x 1·5 mm, compressed, with acute angles, 7- to 9-striate at
each side, those of ligules triangular, those of tubular florets quadrangular; corona
1) Receptacular scales bronze-purple at maturity.
2) Ripe achenes remaining on the receptacle, forming a compact head
Habitat:- Gravelly streambeds, fallow fields and stony mountain slopes 0-1000 m.
Distribution:- In Greece restricted to the Aegean area and rare. Also Cyprus,
Syria, Palestine and Iraq. Limited distribution on Crete. Rare
Flowering time:- End of Apr to mid-June
Photos by:- Fotis Samaritakis and Dimokratia Vrentzou
FAMILY AND GENUS DESCRIPTIONS
General description:- Herbs or shrubs.
Leaves:- Alternate, opposite or arranged in a rosette (rosulate), exstipulate.
Flowers:- Small (florets), hermaphrodite, functionally male, female, or sterile, in
terminal or axillary, usually stalked (pedunculate) capitula, surrounded by an
involucre of bracts. Capitula solitary or in corymbose, less frequently racemose,
inflorescences. Calyx-limb (pappus) absent or represented by a corona, auricle,
scales, stiff hairs (setae) or simple or softly feathered (plumose) hairs. Corolla of 3
main types: (a) tubular, with (3-)4- to 5-lobed limb, actinomorphic or rarely weakly
zygomorphic; (b) tubular, with a 2-lipped limb; (c) ligulate, with a short tube and the
limb prolonged on one side into a usually 3- or 5-toothed ligule; female florets
sometimes without a corolla or with a thread-like (filiform) corolla. Stamens 5,
united with the petals (epipetalous); anthers usually united (connate) into a tube
round the style, often abruptly ending in a long tail-like or appendage tip (caudate)
or arrowhead-shaped (sagittate) at base and with apical appendages. Ovary inferior,
single-celled (1-locular); ovule solitary, basal, bent parallel to its stalk so the
micropyle is close to the point of funiculus attachment (anatropous); style solitary,
with 2 stigmatic branches.
Fruit:- A cypsela (achene).
The length of the involucre is measured from the base of the capitulum. Pappus-
hairs are described as plumose when the length of the branches is at least 3 times
the diameter of the main hair but much shorter than it.
General description:- Herbs or dwarf shrubs, more or less hairy.
Leaves:- Alternate, usually divided.
Flowers:- Capitula small to medium, solitary, terminal, stalked (pedunculate).
Involucre usually more or less hemispherical; involucral bracts in several rows.
Receptacle conical, hemispherical or ovoid; scales usually present, at least in
upper part of receptacle. Outer florets usually tongue-shaped (ligulate) and female,
with compressed tube and spreading (patent), usually 2- to 3-toothed (dentate)
ligule. Inner florets hermaphrodite, tubular, 5-dentate, numerous, yellow; tube not
Fruit:- Achenes circular in cross section (terete) or more or less compressed;
pappus absent or represented by a corona or auricle.
For the correct identification of most species mature achenes are essential
1) Scales subtending at least the inner florets.
2) Capitula pedunculate, solitary.
3) Lower leaves 1- to 2-pinnatisect.
4) Achenes ± terete; very weakly ribbed; with a thin and dry (scarious) corona or
5) Branches not whorled.
6) Plant softly hairy.
7) Outer involucral bracts broadly scarious.
8) Basal rosette present.
9) Corolla-tube not pouch-shaped (saccate) or spurred at base.
General description:- Annuals or biennials.
Flowers:- Involucral bracts not or narrowly brownish-edged at the hyaline margin.
Fruit:- Achenes usually compressed and quadrangular.