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Pakistan | Family List | Asphodelaceae | Eremurus

3. Eremurus himalaicus Baker in J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 15: 283. 1877. Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 6: 332. 1892; R. R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm. 51. 1972; Wendelbo in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 151: 21. 1982; H. J. Chowdhary & Wadhwa, Fl. Himach. Prad. 3: 708. 1984; Awal & Mehrotra, Fl. Lahaul-Spiti, 592. 1994.

English: Himalayan Desert Candle


Eremurus himalaicus

Credit: Abrar Ali

  • Eremurus aitchisonii Baker

    Plant 75-100 cm tall. Roots fleshy. Leaf 30-60 cm long, 1.5-4.5 (-6) cm broad, glabrous, margin scabrid. Scape 30-80 cm long, raceme dense. Bract 8-10 mm, linear, hyaline, broader at the base, ciliate. Pedicel up to 30 mm long, spreading outside. Tepals 17-20 mm long, 1-nerved, white, yellowish in dry condition. Capsule c. 14 mm in diameter, globose. Seeds black, narrowly winged.

    Fl.Per.: May-September.

    Syntypes: “Regno temperate Himalaya occidentalis. (Lahul, Kunawar etc., alt. 7000-10000 pedum), Thomson! Royle! Jacquemont 558! Falconer 1089! Jaeschke 85! Kashgar, Bellow!”.

    Distribution: Afghanistan, Pakistan (Chitral, Hazara), Kashmir, Tajikistan,India (Himachal Pradesh), 8-11000 ft.

    The leaves are used as vegetable. It has also been introduced into Europe and America where it is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant.

    Wendelbo (l.c.) recognized Eremurus himalaicus Baker and Eremurus aitchisonii Baker as two distinct species. In the two separate keys for flowering and fruiting material, he has used the tepal colour, the capsule diameter, size of the seed wing and breadth of the leaves. In Eremurus himalaicus the tepal colour is stated to be white, whereas in Eremurus aitchisonii it is stated to be pink or rose coloured. Unfortunately the flower colour, in most of the cases is not mentioned on the labels. In Eremurus himalaica, the capsule is stated to be c. 14 mm in diameter, the seeds are narrowly winged and the leaves are 15-45 mm broad, whereas, in Eremurus aitchisonii the capsule is 15-20 mm in diameter. Seeds are widely winged and the leaves may be as broad as 80 mm. As the capsule is not present in most of the cases and even when it is present, there is hardly any discontinuity between 14 and 15 mm. Likewise the seeds are rare to find and in the absence of any measurements, it is not possible to resolve whether the seeds are narrowly winged or widely winged. The breadth of the leaves is also not a reliable character. While collecting the material generally one picks up the material of a manageable size, rather than the specimen with the broadest leaf.


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