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Pakistan | Family List | Labiatae | Chelonopsis

Chelonopsis cashmerica (Mukerjee) Hedge, comb. et star. Nov.

Vern.: “Thundu Lendi”.

I.C. Hedge

  • Chelonopsis albiflora Pax & K. Hoffmann
  • Chelonopsis albiflora var. cashmerica Mukerjee

    Shrub. Stems rather slender, not or little branched, with a sparse indumentum of spreading eglandular hairs, leafy. Leaves opposite, narrowly ovate-oblong, 6-10 x 1.5-3 cm, densely gland-dotted below and with eglandular hairs mainly on veins, sparingly gland-dotted above, cuneate, finely serrulate, acuminate; petiole 2-4 mm. Cymes 1-flowered in upper leaf axils, pedunculate. Bracts linear, c. 6 mm. Pedicels c. 2 mm. Calyx triangular campanulate, 10-15 mm in flower, not or scarcely bilabiate, with eglandular spreading hairs and sessile oil globules; teeth 5, subequal, triangular, acute, c. 9 mm; tube glabrous within; calyx becoming somewhat coriaceous in fruit and up to 18 mm. Corolla greenish yellow, c. 30 mm; upper lip c. 5 mm, tube c. 12 mm broad at throat. Staminal thecae bearded. Nutlets c. 7 mm long, oblong, longitudinally striate, with an apical flange.

    Type: B-7 Kashmir: Uri hills, 2000 m, P. N. Kohli 189 (holo. CAL; iso RAW!).

    Distribution: Endemic.

    With the admittedly little material available for study, this taxon seems to merit specific status. Mukerjee (l.c.) described it as a variety of the SE Tibetan and SW Chinese (Szechuau) Chelonopsis albiflora, but the opposite (not ternate) leaves, the 1 (or very few)-flowered cymes and the acute apices of the calyx teeth (not finely acuminate and softly uncinate) warrant higher status. There is, apparently, a massive geographical disjunction between SE Tibet and Western Kashmir: almost 2000 km. Further gatherings and field observations of our plant are needed. It is one of our most interesting labiates.


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