20. Gypsophila L., Sp. Pl. 406. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5.191.1754; Amoen. Acad. 33:23.1756; Boiss., Fl. Or. 1:534.1867; Edgew. & Hook. f., in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:216. 1874; Williams, J. Bot. 27:321-329.1889; Schischkin in Korn., Fl. URSS. 6:731.1936; Stroh. Beih. Bot. Centr. 59:455-477.1931; Barkoudah in Wentia 9:203. 1962; Barkoudah & Chater in Tutin et al., Fl. Eur. 1:181. 1964; Huber-Morath in Davis, Ft. Turk. 2:149.1967.
SHAHINA A. GHAZANFAR & YASIN J. NASIR
Annual, biennial or perennial herbs, often woody, glabrous or frequently with glandular hairs. Leaves usually linear to lanceolate. Flowers small, abundant, in dichasial cymes, panicles or heads. Bracts green or scarious. Bracteoles absent. Calyx campanulate or turbinate, 5-toothed, mostly with druses (an echinate col-lection of calcium oxalate crystals), nerves 5, with scarious intervals; commissural nerves absent. Petals 5. Coronal scales absent. Stamens 10. Styles 2. Carpophore absent. Capsule globose to oblong, dehiscing by 4 valves. Seeds usually tuberculate, with a prominent radicle, reniform or comma shaped. Hilum laterl.
A large genus with c. 125 temperate, Euroasiatic species; one species in New Zealand and Australia.
The delimitation of Saponaria and Gypsophila is by no means easy. The presence of a campanulate-turbinate calyx is a constant and diagnostic character, in our species. Therefore, I have preferred to retain Gypsophila bellidifolia (Saponaria barbata Barkudah) & Gypsophila alsinoides (Arenaria bungei Barkoudah) in this genus. Represented in Pakistan by 10 wild and 2 cultivated species, found in the western parts of the country.
Gypsophila paniculata L., Sp. Pl, 407. 1753; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 244. 1972.
Perennial, 40-100 cm tall, glabrous. Stems erect or ascending, branching from the base. Leaves 20-50 x 3-8 mm, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate. Inflorescence a lax panicle. Pedicels filiform. Calyx c. 2 mm, glabrous, campanulate. Petals white, about twice the length of calyx. Seeds tuberculate.
Syntype: Hb. Linn. 579.5 (LINN).
Distribution: E. & C. Europe, Central Asia, W. China, N. America.
Cultivated for ornament in Pakistan. Introduced and naturalised in several countries. English name: Baby’s Breath.
Gypsophila elegans M. Bieb., Fl. Thur.-Cauc. 1:319. 1808; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 244. 1972.
Annual, 20-60 cm tall, glabrous. Stems erect or ascending, thick, branching.
Leaves 20-60 x 4-5 mm, oblanceolate, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate. Inflorescence a lax panicle. Pedicels slender. Calyx 3.5-4 mm, broadly campanulate, nerves green with scarious margins, veined purple. Twice as long as the calyx. Seeds tuberculate.
C-7 Rawalpindi Dist: cult. In Gordon College, April 1936, Sewa Ram s.n. (RAW); ibid., Mohinder Nath s.n. (RAW); Ibid., 1939, Kundan Lal 36 (RAW); D-8 Lahore, cult., March 1957, S.B. Akhtar s.n. (PPFI-B).
Distribution: Caucasus, C. Europe (introduced), Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.