Faculty Advisor

Dr. Chen Hubiao


“Snow lotus” is a famous Chinese Materia Medica derived from species of the genus Saussurea (Compositae). To differentiate three representative easily-confused snow lotus herbs, namely, S. involucrata (Kar. et Kir.) Sch.-Bip, S. laniceps Hand.-Mazz. and S. medusa Maxim., macroscopic features of the three herbs were systemically observed, and microscopic features were compared under the ordinary light microscopy, polarized light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The results indicate that, as for macroscopical identification, capitula situation and arrangement, and as for microscopical identification, pollen grains, non-glandular hairs, glandular hairs, cells of inner surface of the microdiodange, and epidermal cells of the corolla can be used to authenticate the three snow lotus herbs. Comprehensive table comparing the characteristics were presented in this study. Scanning electron microscopy has been found to provide a number of unique characteristics of pollen grains. Based on the observation of pollen grains, evolution sequence of the three species was speculated. The authentication method was proven to be efficient, convenient, simple and reliable. It can be widely applied to other herbal materials.


School of Chinese Medicine

Year of Award



2014 Winner

Document Type

Student Paper