19. Ranunculus glacialiformis Hand.-Matz. in Acta Horti Goteburg. 13:153. 1939. Stewart, Ann. Catalogue Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 274. 1972, Qureshi & Chaudhri, l.c. 193.
HARALD RIEDL and YASIN J. NASIR
Naturhistorisches Museum, Botanische Abteilung, Wien, Austria.
National Herbarium, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Perennial, usually caespitose, with numerous thin fibrous roots, base covered by brownish remains of older leaves. Basal leaves in ros ettes, each ros ette with a single stem, 3-15 (-20) cm high, erect or ascending, yellowish-brown hairy, denser in its upper part. Basal leaves with a fairly long glabrous petiole, blade 12-20 (-25) mm wide, reniform to orbicular -reniform in outline, glabrous, trisect nearly to the base, primary segments strongly 2-3-sect again into linear to oblong-linear or obovate-lanceolate lobes, lobes entire or dentate, sometimes with 1-2 lateral lobules. Lobes of ultimate order 1-3 mm wide, acute or obtuse, glabrous. Stem leaves 1-2, similar to basal leaves, but subsessile or with a very short petiole. Flowers 15-22 mm in diameter, first yellowish, later whitish to purplish tinged. Sepals 5-7 mm, lanceolate-ovate to oblong-ovate, obtuse, persistent for a comparatively long time, densely or loosely covered with reddish-brown hairs. Petals broadly obovate to suborbicular, slightly to 1½ times longer than sepals, tapering into a very short claw, nectar pit without distinct margin. Achenes c. I mm long, numerous, smooth, glabrous, arranged in an ovoid head along the elongate hairy receptacle. Style very short.
Fl. Per.: July.
Type: China: Sinkiang, Distr. Kangting (Tschienlu) Tapao-Shan, c. 4800 m, 4.8.1934, Handel-Mazzetti 11438 (WU!).
Kashmir: B-8 Masjid Gali top, 13500', R.R. & I.D. Stewart 18375 (KUH), Pakistan: B-9 above Dal-Sang-Pa , 16500', E. Nasir & G.L. Webster 6216 (RAW), Ghondokoro glacier, ± 14,000', E. Nasir & G.L. Webster 6025 SAW, B-8 Burjila, ± 15000', R.R. Stewart 20156 (KUH).
Distribution: Himalaya, Kashmir.
The species seems to be common at high altitudes of Kashmir. It is very variable. Handel Mazzetti’s original description does not always agree even with authentic specimens and his own illustration. The petals may be 1½ times longer, not shorter than the sepals. Petals and sepals may persist for rather a long time, but they may also be deciduous. This character varies even in one and the same flower. Specimens clearly belonging to Ranunculus glacialiformis have been identified as Ranunculus hirtellus Royle by some botanists, though the leaf-shape, size of flowers and the glabrous achenes are entirely different from this species. Probably the species is widespread in the Himalaya, but has been overlooked by previous authors.