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Pakistan | Family List | Caryophyllaceae

25. Dianthus L., Sp. Pl. 409. 1753. Gen. Pl. 565. 1754; Boiss., Fl. Or. 1:476. 1767; Edgew. & Hook. F. in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:213. 1874.


Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves linear with parallel veins. Inflorescence cymose, terminal or flowers solitary. Bracteole 2-many, adpressed to the calyx. Calyx tubular or cylindrical; calyx teeth 5, usually acute or acuminate; nerves many, commissural nerves absent. Petals 5, with a long claw, limb lanceolate or dentate, barbulate or not, never bilobed. Coronal scales absent. Stamens 10. Styles 2. Ovary 1-locular. Capsule many seeded, dehisching by 4 teeth. Carpophore usually absent. Seeds compressed-discoid.

A large genus with 300 species distributed in Europe, Asia and Africa, but chiefly concentrated in the Mediterranean region. Some species are commonly cultivated in the gardens for ornament such as hybrids and cultivars of D. caryophyllus L. (Carnation), D. barbatus L. (Sweet Williams) and D. plumarius L. Represented in Pakistan by 10 species.

The term bracteoles is used for those structures subtending individual flowers and bracts for those subtending an inflorescence of more than a single flower.

Species dubia

Dianthus afghanicus Rech.f. in Bot. Jahrb. 75: 360. 1951; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 241. 1972.

Perennial, with a short woody stock. Stems 20-25 mm, greyish-green, ± erect to ascending, branching from the base, glabrous. Leaves 10-30 x 1 mm, linear, serrulate, apex acute. Flowers solitary, terminal. Bracteoles 4, 5-6 mm, reaching ¼ the calyx length, ovate to acuminate with a hyaline margin, ± finely ciliate. Calyx 14-16 mm, cylindrical, teeth lanceolate, acuminate. Petals rose, toothed at the apex, barbulate. Capsule ovoid, included.

Type: Afghanistan, Pulalam, 7000, flowers rose-pink, 15. iv. 1937, Koelz 11837 (Holo. W; iso. BARC).

Distribution: Afghanistan, Western Pakistan (?)

Reported by Stewart (l.c.) from Tartars, Khyber Agency, but I have not seen material from that area. From its description the species resembles D. angulatus Royle ex Benth.

1 Flowers more than 1, many together in heads (cult.)   9 Dianthus barbatus
+ Flowers 1, very rarely 2   (2)
2 (1) Calyx less than 15 mm   (3)
+ Calyx 25 mm or more   (4)
3 (2) Stems very slender, with divaricate branching. Bracteoles 4, ovate, acuminate to cuspidate at apex, limb barbulate   8 Dianthus khirghizicus
+ Stems not as above. Bracteoles 4-6, ovate to narrowly ovate, apiculate. Limb ebarbulate   1 Dianthus anatolicus
4 (2) Calyx length usually 30 mm or more   (5)
+ Calyx less than 30 mm   (7)
5 (4) Calyx 25-30 mm. Bracteoles long cuspidate, c. ¼ the calyx length   7 Dianthus falconeri
+ Calyx 30-38 mm. Bracteoles acuminate to aristate or sometimes cuspdate, ½ to 1/3 the calyx length   (6)
6 (5) Bracteoles 4 in number, 18-20 mm, lanceolate, acuinate   5 Dianthus cachemericus
+ Bracteoles 4-6 (-8) in number, 10-20 mm, ovate, lanceolate, aristate to cuspidate   2 Dianthus crinitus
7 (4) Calyx less than 20 mm. Bracteoles 4-6, broadly ovate, acute to mucronate. Petal limb fimbriate   4 Dianthus angulatus
+ Calyx more than 20 mm, if less, than flower female only. Bracteoles 4 or 6-8. Petal limb toothed or fimbriate   (8)
8 (7) Bracteoles 6-8. Petal limb fimbriate, rose-red. (Cauline leaves adpressed to the stem)   3 Dianthus orientalis
+ Bracteoles 4. Petal limb toothed, usually white   (9)
9 (8) Flowers large, solitary in lax panicles. Bracteoles acute. Leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate (cult.)   10 Dianthus caryophyllus
+ Flowers solitary, terminal. Bracteoles mucronate. Leaves narrowly linear   6 Dianthus jacquemontii

Lower Taxa


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