Eremostachys sharifii Rech. f.
Root thick, vertical. Stems solitary or few, 40-90 cm, simple or branched at inflorescence, with an indumentum of short soft branched hairs, persisting or glabrescent. Leaves mostly basal, ± rosette-forming, ± oblong in outline, very variable in dissection, almost entire and irregulrly crenate to lyratepinnatifid to pinnatisect; lamina c. 10-18 x 4-7 cm, cuneate to truncate, glabrous above, below glabrous or with short simple and branched hairs mainly on veins; petiole clearly shorter than lamina. Cauline leaves absent or 1-2 pairs, much smaller than basal leaves. Verticillasters (4-) 10-14, c. 10-flowered, distant below condensed above. Bracts c. 4 mm lanceolate. Calyx 10-12 mm, tubular campanulate, with a dense short indumentum of stellatedendroid hairs, truncate with very short mucronulate subequal teeth c. 0.5 mm. Corolla 20-25 mm, white or with purple marking, drying purplish-brown; upper lip c. 10 mm, densely white-bearded; lower lip subequal to upper, spreading; tube saccate, annulate within. Nutlets c. 5 mm long, trigonous, brown-black.
Fl. Per.: March-April.
Syntypes: [Pakistan] Peshawar, Vicary (K!); Jhelum Salt Range, Aitchison 36,386 (K!); Baluchistan, Lace.
Distribution: SE Iran, Pakistan, NW India.
Although very variable in height and especially the degree of leaf division, this is an easily recognized and distinct species. Characteristic features are the white flowers, the very short calyx teeth and the calyx indumentum of solely short adpressed stellate-dendroid hairs. It grows in a wide range of habitats, often in association with Salvia moorcroftiana Benth.
J. L. Stewart (Punjab Plants 168. 1869) reported that "the plant is used for poisoning fish in the Eusufzai near Peshawar"; see remarks under Eremostachys superb.