24. Androsace septentrionalis L., Sp. Pl. ed. 1.142. 1753. Duby in DC., Prodr. 8:52.1844; Boiss., Fl. Or. 4:17.1879; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 3:497.1882; Handel-Mazzetti in Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 15:296.1927; id., 16:165.1931; Robbins in the Amer. Midl. Naturl. 32 (1):137-163.1944; Schischkin & Bobrov in Komarov, Fl. URSS. 18:240.1952.
YASIN J. NASIR
An annual (1.5-) 4-24 cm tall. Roots slender, up to 6 cm long. Leaves in dense basal rosettes, 9-25 x 1.8-6 mm, lanceolate, denticulate, pubescent; the hairs furcate, white. Scape (-s) 2-10 in number, unequal, the central one the largest and up to 16.5 cm long, sparse puberulous and glandular. Umbels (2-) 5-20-flowered. Bracts 2-3 mm long, lanceolate or broadly so, puberulous. Pedicels unequal, the largest up to 70 mm long, slender, shorter than the scape, sometimes longer, glabrescent. Calyx (L5-) 2.6 mm long, ± obpyramidal, glabrous to sparse glandulose, 5-ribbed, accrescent and up to 3.8 mm in fruit; lobes c. 1.3 mm long, triangular, brownish-green (in dried state). Corolla barely exceeding the calyx, white; limb ± 3.5 mm broad. Style less than 1 mm long, stigma capitate. Capsule 3-3.5 mm broad, globose, glabrous, chartaceous, exceeding the calyx. Seeds 14-20 in number, ± 1.5 mm long, oblong, angular, reticulate with the edges minutely vesiculose, brown.
Fl. Per.: mid June-August.
Holotype: Described from Europe (H. LINN 197/4!).
Distribution: Widely distributed in Artic and Northern regions of Europe and Asia, N. America.
A small white-flowered annual found in high dry areas from 3000-5400 m. The species over its wide distributional range shows marked variation in the length and number of scapes and the length of the pedicel. These characters do not correlate with any particular locality. Small diminuitive to medium sized specimens are known, where the scape is very short and less than the pedicel in length. They occur in the same areas as plants with normally developed scapes, although less frequently, and are indicated in the citation of specimens by an asterisk (*). These specimens bear a marked resemblance to Androsace fedtschenkoi Ovez., in habit (syntype at LE!), and indeed were it not for the larger corolla size, there would be hardly any justification in keeping Androsace fedtschenkoi as a distinct taxon. In this respect it is interesting to note that Bobrov and Schischkin (l.c. 240) cite Androsace septentrionalis var. breviscapa as a synonym of Androsace fedtschenkoi.
Androsace septentrionalis also shows some variation in the nature of the inflorescence which may be lax and spreading or ± diffuse and ascending. Robbins (in Amer. Midl. Nat. 32 (1):137.1944, p. 156) in a study of the N. American specimens of Androsace septentrionalis describes the bracts as ‘linear-lanceolate’, which in our specimens are lanceolate or broadly so.