Saussurea balangshanensis (Asteraceae), a new species from the Hengduan Mountains region, SW China

20 March 2019

Zhang, Yazhou; Tang, Rong; Huang, Xianhan; Sun, Wenguang; Ma, Xiangguang; Sun, Hang

Saussurea balangshanensis, based on the population from Balang Mountain in the Hengduan Mountains region, SW China, is described and illustrated as a new species of Asteraceae. It can be distinguished from other species in Saussurea by its swollen and hollow upper stems, an indumentum of both articulate hairs and stipitate glandular hairs, the purplish red uppermost stem leaves that half-enclose the synflorescence and with the laciniate margins. Based on nucleotide sequence data from the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), our phylogenetic analyses also support the recognition of the population as representing a new species. The new species is known only from a single location in Balang Mountain, at elevations of 4500–4700 m. Its habitat can be easily disturbed or destroyed by a tourist arterial highway and the over grazing. We propose that the species should be listed as Critically Endangered based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Categories and Criteria B2a.