8. Salix sericocarpa Andersson in J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 4:43. 1860; A.K.Skvortsov in Nov. Syst. Pl. Vasc. 1966: 67-71. 1966; in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 65: 40. 1969; R. R. Stewart, l.c. 185; F.Zhenfu, Z.Shidong & A.K.Skvortsov in Wu Zheng-yi & P.H.Raven, Fl. China 4: 189. 1999.
S. oxycarpa Andersson in J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 4: 45. 1960; R. Parker, l.c. 505.
Shrub or tree up to 10 m tall, branches hoary when young, becoming glabrous and shining. Leaves stipulate, stipules (2)-3-7 mm, linear or lanceolate, glandular-dentate, persistent. Petiole 2-6 mm long; lamina 3.8-9 x 1.5-3 cm, elliptic-oblong, acuminate, entire to serrate, hairy to glabrous except on the midrib above, pubescent below. Catkin appearing a little before or along with leaves, peduncle 5-20 mm long. Male catkin 3.5-5 x 0.7-1 cm, with a few small leaves at the base, silky; bracts 1.5-2.3 x 0.6-1 mm, silky; stamens 2, filaments partly connate, hairy at the base, anthers 0.6-0.8 mm long. Disk of a solitary erect gland opposite the bract. Female catkin on short leafy shoots, 5-12 x 1.1-1.4 cm, rachis silky; bracts 1.5-2.3 x 0.6-1 mm, oblong, silky, subacute. Ovary shortly stipitate, stipe 2-3 times as long as the disc gland. Style short, stigmas bifid. Capsule; ovoid conical, silky pubescent; stipe 0.3-1 mm long.
Fl. Per.: May-June.
Lectotype: Kashmir, 6000 ft, T. Thomson (K).(A. K. Skvortsov in Nov. Syst. Pl. Vasc. 1966: 68).
There are two sheets in the Kew Herbarium, bearing the specific epithet in the handwriting of N. J. Andersson and identical labels. Both these sheets contain specimens which belong to more than one taxon. One of these sheets bears a red label, “Type specimen. Herb. Kew”. It has two additional labels also. One of these determined by Camillo Schneider in 1915, states ‘Salix sericocarpa Andr. Type.’ The other label placed in 1937 by B. Floderus identifies 2 taxa (1) Salix alba L. var ? and (2) Salix oxycarpa Anderss. ?. Actually out of the 4 specimens, 2 male specimens belong to S. alba L. and 2 female specimens belong to S. sericocarpa Anderss. The other sheet that A.K. Skvortsov (Nov. Syst. Pl. Vasc. 1966: 68) thought was the Holotype and that he used for typifying S. sericocarpa Anderss. contains 4 specimens. As stated by him, the sheet has 2 specimens of S. sericocarpa Anderss., one with female inflorescences and young leaves, the other with young leaves only. Two other branches, mounted on the same sheet do not belong to S. sericocarpa Anderss.
One with male inflorescences belongs to S. babylonica and the second branch, which has leaves only, belongs to S. alba L., s.l. A. K. Skvortsov, has therefore selected the lectotype. It is obvious that A. K. Skvortsov did not study the first sheet. Even if he had studied it, the net result would not have been different. F. Zhenfu, Z. Shidong & A. K. Skvortsov (in Wu Zheng-yi & Peter H. Raven, Fl. China 4: 189, 270-271. 1999) have treated S. sericocarpa Andersson as an independent species, however S. oxycarpa Andersson is treated as a variety of S. pycnostachya. A. K. Skvortsov (in Nov. Syst. Pl. Vasc. 1966: 68) regarded merging of S. oxycarpa with S. pycnostachya as erroneous. He still regards S. oxycarpa as synonymous with S. sericocarpa (personal communication).
Distribution: Afghanistan, Pakistan (Chitral, Gilgit, Hunza), Kashmir, India, Nepal, Sikkim, China (Xizang, Yunnan).
Grady L. Webster & E. Nasir 6146 (RAW) ? from Astor valley, alt. 12500 ft, Upper end of Hushe valley, Ghondakoro Glacial basin at the foot of Masherbrum, 16.7.1955, which has cottony indumentum on both the surfaces, needs further study.