Tillaea pentandra Royle & Edgew.
Perennial herb. Stem branched, erect-ascending, 2-7 cm high. Leaves simple, opposite, sessile, connate at the base, entire, glabrous, linear-lanceolate, acute-acuminate, 2-7 x 0.5-2 mm. Inflorescence axillary cyme, 1-3-flowered in the leaf axil. Flowers minute, bisexual, 4-5 merous, sessile-pedicellate, pedicel 0.3-2 mm long. Sepals free, glabrous, lanceolate, acuminate, 1-2.5 x 0.4-0.6 mm. Petals free, slightly shorter or longer than the sepals, glabrous, elliptic, acuminate, 0.6-1.6 x 0.2-0.6 mm. Stamens 4-5, adnate to the petals, basifixed, dithecous, 0.5-0.8 mm long. Nectar scales spathulate or oblong, 0.25-6 mm long. Carpels 4-5, oblong-ovoid. Follicles 0.5-1 x 0.2-0.4 mm. Seeds 2 per fruit, ellipsoid, pointed at the apex, dark brown, 0.3-0.5 x 0.15-0.3 mm.
Fl. Per.: August-September.
Holotype: A plant grown in Leningrad from seeds of Schimper 183 collected in Abyssinia (LE); Isotype (K) (Wickens in Kew Bull. 36(4): 666.1982).
Grows from 1300-3000 m among rocks and crevices; Distribution: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zaire, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China (Xizang).
Three subspecies are recognized in Africa. According to K. T. Fu & M. G. Gilbert (l.c.) our material agrees with that of China, Bhutan, Nepal and India and belongs to subspecies schimperi. Ecologically the African areas of distribution are so different from the other (Pakistan to Xizang) that, at least, a fresh evaluation of the material is called for.