6. Aconitum soongaricum Stapf in Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. Calc. 10(2):141. 1905. Shteinberg in Komarov, Fl. URSS. 7:232.1937, Stewart, Ann. Catalogue Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 259.1972.
YASIN J. NASIR
National Herbarium, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Perennial, rootstock a chain of large conoidal tubers (paired tubers according to Stapf). Stem up to 70 cm high, erect, simple, ± robust, glabrous or densely pubescent in the upper part. Lower leaves already decayed at flowering time, intermediate leaves loosely scattered, upper leaves more densely arranged, petioles of lower leaves up to 12 cm, of upper leaves 1-2 cm, blade glabrous, cordate-orbicular or reniform, 5-partite to or almost to the base, inner segments loboid in outline, 3-lobed beyond middle or more often pinnatifid, with broadly linear, subobtuse or acute, entire or 1-2-toothed lobes, outer segments deeply bifid with 2-3-lobed inner and an often entire outer lobe. Inflorescence dense or ± lax, many flowered, often with a few additional branches. Lower bracts similar to stem leaves, 3-partite with usually entire segments, uppermost leaves nearly filiform. Pedicels 1-2.5 cm long. Bracteoles linear, situated near the flowers. Sepals blue, pubescent, ciliate, helmet with a distinct claw and a long beak, 16-18 mm high, 12-15 mm long, from tip to beak, 5-6 mm wide near the top, lateral sepals 13-17 mm long, obliquely obovate-orbicular, lower ones 10-15 mm long, deflexed or sub-horizontal, elliptic to oblong. Petals (nectaries) glabrous, claw erect, up to 12 mm, hood gibbous at the back-side near top, lip oblong-obovate, crenulate, as long as the hood. Filaments glabrous to sparingly hairy in the upper part, winged in the lower part. Carpels 3, lanceolate-oblong, glabrous. Follicles diverging.
Type: Gilgit: Ghizar vy., Giles 77 (iso.K).
Distribution: Central-Asiatic provinces of the USSR (Tien-Shan, Dzungaria) and Turkestan.
The descriptions by Stapf and by Shteinberg are contradictory as far as the tubers are concerned. Stapf describes and depicts paired tubers as in the biennial species. However, Shteinberg correctly describes a chain of tubers. Probably Stapfs specimens had been collected when flowering for the first time, as all other characters agree entirely.