14. Epilobium aitchisonii Raven, Bull. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Bot. 2: 376. 1962; in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 7: 18. 1964; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 505. 1972.
Peter C. Hoch and Peter H. Raven
Epilobium roseum? sensu Aitch., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 18: 60. 1880; op. cit. 19: 163.1882; non Schreb.
Low growing clumped perennial herb, forming fleshy round basal turions that leave persistent brown scales at the base of the stem; stems 10-35 cm tall, well branched, glabrous except for strigillose raised lines decurrent from the margins of the petioles. Leaves narrowly ovate, 1.5-3.5 x 0.8-2 cm, subequal to the internodes, sparsely strigillose on veins and margins only, margins lightly serrulate, apex acute, base broad cuneate, distinct petioles 2-5 mm long. Inflorescence nodding in bud, dense strigillose. Ovaries 1.5-2 cm long, subequal to subtending bracts. Sepals 2.8-3.5 mm long, acuminate. Petals 3-4.2 mm long, often subequal to sepals, obcordate, rose purple. Style 1.5-2 mm long. Stigma capitate to short clavate, surrounded by longer anthers at anthesis. Capsules 4-5.5 cm long, strigillose, on pedicels 0.8-1.2 cm long. Seeds 1-1.1 x 0.38-0.4 mm, narrow obovoid or attenuate, papillose, inconspicuous chalazal collar; comas 6-8 mm long, white, easily deciduous.
Type: Pakistan. Sikaram, Kurram Valley (ca. 35°54' N., 70°20' E.), 3550 m., in stony beds of streams, 7 Aug. 1879, Aitchison 939 (K).
Distribution: Western Himalayas from the Kurram Valley to Ladakh.
This very rare species has apparently not been collected in the last 100 years, but it appears to be a good species, distinct from but similar to E. leiophyllum. Fl. Per: ?Jul-Sep. Fr. Per.: Aug-Nov.