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Pakistan | Family List | Rosaceae | Potentilla

9i. Potentilla biflora var. biflora (Fig. 5, E-I).

Muqarrab Shah

Department of Microbiology, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan

Potentilla biflora var. biflora

Perennial, caespitose bushy undershrubs. Rootstock very thick and divided, densely covered with remains of deep brown leaf bases. Basal stem short, subterranean, adpressed, covered with brown sheathing stipules and dead leaf bases. Leaves and floral stem are borne on the top of the basal stem. Floral stem short, 2-3 cm., sparsely pilose. Leaves ternate, mostly adpressed together at the base, a few ascending. Basal stipules adnate, auriculate, ferrugineus. Leaflets 0.7-1.2 x 0.1-1.5 mm., terminal, deeply 3-segmented to the midrib, lower pair 2-fid nearly to the midrib or rarely undivided, segments linear, acute, revolute, coriaceous, pilose above and below. Flowers generally 2, borne on a forked peduncle, pedicels 1-1.5 cm. long, densely pubescent. Calyces sparsely pubescent, generally subequal, inner sometimes longer, acute. Outer sepals oblong, inner ovate. Petals 0.7-0.8 cm. long, yellow, obcordate. Stamens about 20, anthers dithecous. Receptacle hemispherical, densely sericeous. Carpels few, style subterminal, c. 3 mm. long, flattened below, stigma not dilated.

Fl. Per.: June-August

Type: Ostl. Sibirien. herb. Willd. (B).

B-8 Gilgit: Gharesa glacier, base camp, 13 miles E. of Nagar, 15,580 ft, rock ledges and crevices, lateral moraines, flowers yellow forming compact rounded cushions, O. Polunin 6125 (BM, B), Nazbar, an gregaires, dans les rochers, 5,400 m., Fl. Schmid 2376 (G), Sokka glacier, right bank, ± 15,000 ft, open areas, R. Scott Russell 1608 (BM), Karambar glacier, ± 12,600 ft, in crevices facing east, bright yellow flower, S. Bowes Lyon 8210 (K).

Distribution: Alaska Yukon, Siberia, Tien Shan Altai, Mongolia, China, Pakistan, Kashmir, Nepal and Bhutan.

A densely cushion forming and low growing caespitose high alpine undershrub, common on dry stony soils and in rock crevices between 4,000 and 5,800 m. This is undoubtedly the highest growing Potentilla species in the Himalayan mountains. Potentilla biflora is closely related to Potentilla latipetiolata Fischer in its ternate leaves and linear-acute and revolute leaflets. It is clearly differentiated, however, by its deeply trifid middle leaflet and bifid lateral leaflets giving a pentasegmented leaf shape. Potentilla latipetiolata on the other hand, has leaves with undivided leaflets.


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