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Pakistan | Family List | Ranunculaceae

15. Thalictrum L., Sp. Pl. 544. 1753. Gen. pl. ed. 5:620. 1754, Boiss., Fl. Or. 1:5. 1867, Hook.f. & Thoms. in Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:10. 1872, Lecoyer in Bull. Soc. Bot. Belgique 24:78-324. 1885, Nevski in Komarov, Fl. URSS. 7:510-528. 1937, Qureshi & Chaudhri in Pak. Syst. 4(1-2):89.1988.

HARALD RIEDL and YASIN J. NASIR


Naturhistorisches Museum, Botanische Abteilung, Wien, Austria.

and

National Herbarium, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Thalictrum isopyroides
Illustration

Credit: S. Hameed

Perennial mostly rhizomatous herbs with erect stems and alternate, 2-4-pinnatipartite leaves. Leaflets lobed or dentate, suborbicular to ovate or obovate in outline. Flowers small, with a simple calyciform, rarely corolla-l ike perianth. Sepals 4(-5), deciduous. Stamens numerous, longer or slightly shorter than the sepals. Carpels few to numerous, sessile or stalked, with persistent stigma. Style absent or strongly reduced. Achenes unilocular, 1-seeded fusiform to ± inflated or laterally compressed.

The taxonomy of Tholictrum offers a considerable number of unsolved problems. It has not been the subject of any recent revision or monograph. Wh ile most of the species and its segregates are as puzzling here as in any other part of their large area of distribution. No subdivision beyond subspecies has been tried in the present account as no regional treatment can be satisfactory in this group.

Represented by about 150 species of N. temperate and paleo-tropical, neo-tropical and S. African distribution. Represented in Pakistan by 11-12 species.

Species to be expected

Thalictrum chelidonii DC., Prodr. 1:11. 1824, Hook.f. & Thoms. in Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:11. 1872, Stewart in Ann. Catalogue Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 275. 1972.

This species is related to Thatictrum pedunculatum, from which it differs by the petaloid sepals which are lilac or purple and bulbils, present in the leaf axils.

Type: C. Nepal, Wallich in 1819.

A more easterly species distributed from Kashmir eastward to Bhutan, Nepal, Assam.

Doubtful Species

Thalictrum fimbriatum Qureshi & Chaudhri in Pak. Syst. 2 (1-2):13. 1978, & Pak. Syst. 4 (1,2):100. 1988.

According to authors this species differs from all other species in its fimbriate stipules and unisexual flowers.

I could not examine the type specimen (Kashmir: Sharda, S. Iqbal & A. Abbasi, 1591, ISL). It is quite surprising that the authors assign it to the sect. Thalictrum, characterised by sessile achenes which are cylindrical to ovoid. without h aving seen any fruit.


1 Petaloid sepals distinctly longer than the stamens   1 Thalictrum pedunculatum
+ Petaloid sepals shorter or sometimes almost equalling the stamens   (2)
       
2 (1) Carpels laterally comressed to nearly flattened   (3)
+ Carpels ovoid to fusiform, not compressed   (6)
       
3 (2) Flowers singly or in pairs in the axils of normal leaves (leaves rarely reduced) and/or aggregated terminally in small branches arising from axils of small bract-l ike leaves. Stigma elongate, hairy   2 Thalictrum secundum
+ Flowers in terminal panicles or racemes   (4)
       
4 (3) Ventral suture of carpels winged, dorsal suture curved. Carpels on long stalks. Anthers mucronulate   3 Thalictrum elegans
+ Ventral suture of carpels not winged, dorsal suture straight. Carpels shortly stalked. Anthers mucronulate or with a long, distinct pointed tip   (5)
       
5 (4) Anthers pointed or shortly mucronulate. Leaves glandular-pubescent below   4 Thalictrum platycarpum
+ Anthers with a long pointed tip. Leaves glabrous or slightly puberulous below, not glandular   5 Thalictrum cultratum
       
6 (2) Leaves with glands and multicellular hairs   6 Thalictrum foetidum
+ Leaves glabrous or slightly puberulous   (7)
       
7 (6) Inflorescence a simple raceme with single unbranched pedicels   (8)
+ Inflorescence a compound panicle with branched or fascicled peduncles   (9)
       
8 (7) Stem 30-50 cm high. Root fusiform, stem leafy. Long-stalked flowers also in the axils of upper leaves   8 Thalictrum rutifolium
+ Stem up to 5-10 (-15) cm, rhizomatous. Raceme terminal   7 Thalictrum alpinum
       
9 (7) Leaflets very small, 1-4 mm long, undivided or profoundly divided into a few pointed lobes. Pedicels very elongated in fruit   9 Thalictrum isopyroides
+ Laflets larger, with short wide lobes. Pedicels not or only slightly elongated in fruit   (11)
       
10 Tips of anthers without distinct mucro. Stems ± terete, not striate   10 Thalictrum foliolosum
+ Tips of anthers with a distinct mucro. Stems usually striate   11 Thalictrum minus

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