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Sanicula L.
Mark F. Watson
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Erect perennial herbs. Leaves ternate, lateral segments often deeply divided almost to base and leaf appearing palmate; petioles narrowly sheathing at base. Flowering stems irregularly dichotomously branched (in Bhutanese species); umbels small, compound; bracts and bracteoles present; umbellules usually 3–4-flowered. Flowers hermaphrodite or outer ones in umbellule often male; young ovary covered with short hooked bristles (in Bhutanese species). Calyx teeth subulate. Petals minute. Stylopodium domed. Fruit ovoid-oblong, subterete, covered with hooked bristles (in Bhutanese species). 

Sanicula elata D.Don
    S. europaea sensu C.B.Clarke [in Flora of British India] non L.
Stems 12–100cm. Leaves deeply 3–5 x divided to base or almost so, lower ones 4–9 x 5–10(–13)cm, segments again often deeply divided, acute or acuminate, margins serrate with spinulose tipped teeth, glabrous; petioles 2–22cm; upper leaves smaller. Rays 0–10mm; bracts linear-lanceolate to ovate, c 1–5mm; flowers almost sessile. Calyx teeth c 1.5mm, persistent. Petals greenish white, sometimes tinged purple-red, shorter than calyx teeth. Styles longer than calyx teeth. Fruits c 2 x 1.5mm, subterete, covered with hooked bristles.

Bhutan: S—Chukka district (Chukka Bridge, Marichong) and Deothang district (Wamrung); C—Thimphu district (Dukye Dzong, Motithang, Pumo La to Pyemitangka), Tongsa district (Shamgang to Pertimi, Tongsa), Mongar district (Shongar, Zimgang), and Tashigang district (Chorten Kora); N—Upper Mo Chu district (Gasa Dzong), Upper Mangde Chu district (Mangde Chu) and Upper Kulong Chu district (Lao, Shingbe to Lao, Tobrang).
Chumbi: Common.
Sikkim: Common.
Darjeeling: Common. 

Ecology: A very common plant of warm, broad leaved forests. 900–3200m.
Flowers April–August. 

Illustration [Fig 48: g–j]

Specimen List [12423]

Note: Literature records of the Chinese species S. astrantiifolia Kretschmer in Chumbi may be based on misidentifications. This plant is very similar to S. elata, but the leaves are consistently tripartite and lateral segments less deeply lobed. Further good quality herbarium collections are needed to verify these records 

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