Saussurea(redirected from Saussurea medusa)
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a genus of perennial herbs of the family Composi-tae. The alternate leaves range from entire to pinnatisect. The tubular, bisexual flowers are for the most part pink or purple and are usually gathered in heads that form a common inflorescence. Sometimes the flowers are solitary. The fruit is an achene with a pappus of feathery hairs.
There are about 400 species distributed in Eurasia and North America. The USSR has about 115 species, growing mainly in Siberia, Middle Asia, and the Far East. The best-known species, S. amara and 5. salsa, grow in solonchaks, solonetzes, and somewhat alkaline meadows and steppes. Most species are found in the subalpine and alpine zones of mountains; they grow in meadows and mountain tundras and on stony slopes, screes, and cliffs. S. alpina and S. discolor are cultivated as ornamentals.