Potentilla orientalis Juz.
Basal stem partly subterraneous, woody and creeping below, upper stem slender and herbaceous, 5-20 cm. long, sparsely adpressed pilose to subglabrous. Leaves with 3-8 approximate pairs, petioles adpressed pilose. Leaflets 0.8-2.0 x 0.2-0.4 cm., oblong-obovate to oblong-lanceolate, entire or 2-fid, densely to moderately pilose to glabrescent. Inflorescence terminal. Flowers 0.7-1.5 cm. diam, calyces subequal, adpressed pilose, outer oblong-obtuse, inner ovate-acute. Petals yellow, 6-8 mm. long, obovate. Stamens about 20. Receptacle hirsute. Carpels numerous, styles short, lateral and fusiform. Achenes pubescent when young, glabrous at maturity.
Fl. Per.: June-August
Type: Described from Caucasus (USSR) (PR.).
A-7 Chitral, Molikhoo, Ojhore Sossoom Ghari, stream bank, 3445 m, Haidar Ali 5907 (KUH), Village Pasum, c. 6 km east of Mastuj, 2400 m, A. Ghafoor & S. Omer 3030 (KUH), South Barum Glacier, 12000 ft, 12.7.1960, S. M. A. Kazmi s. n. (KUH), A-8 Gilgit, Naltar, ± 12,000 ft., R.R. Stewart 26586 (BM), Near Naltar rest house, Kamal Akhtar & M. Qaiser 614 (KUH), Bomial Nullah, Naltar, S. Omer 129 (KUH), Below Chilam, Gilgit Rd., ± 9,000 ft., R.R. Stewart 18970 (RAW), Gulmit glacier, Hunza Valley, fls. Yellow, Todd Nachowitz 215 (RAW), Nagar, in cult. field, Muqarrab Shah & Jamshed (ABD), B-8 Baltistan, Biafo base camp, Hans Hartmann 3090 (G), Hispar Valley, 9-10,000 ft, R. Scott Russell 1164 (BM), A-7 Chitral Dist., Barum Gol, Shokor Shal, c. 3,500 ft., 28-6-1950, P. Wendelbo (0), Lutko, between 35 55-36 6 N and 71 18-71 48 E, Bowes Lyon 771 (BM), B-9 Ladakh, Dras, ± 10,500 ft, on dry, grassy slopes, flowers yellow, Ludlow & Sherriff 8331 (E), Gulshan Lake ± 15,800 ft, on stony mountain slopes, Ludlow 599 (BM), Above Harkar Markha (Indus Valley), ± 14,000 ft., Schomberg 76 (BM), Saspul (Indus Valley), Ladakh, + 10,900 ft, flowers lemon yellow, on banks near water, April 1925, R. Meinertzhagen (BM), Battal (Sind valley), 9,000-10,000 ft., J.F. Duthie 11532 (BM), Rumbak to Kanda La Pass (south-west of Leh), Sept. 1856, without collection no., (W), Tsakshun Tso, Ladak, ± 16,000 ft, on dry slopes among rocks, flowers pale yellow, slightly green, W. Koelz 2427 (S) – this specimen has fewer leaflets (2-3), Tog (Ladak), W. Koelz 6362 (US), Kargil ladakh, W. Koelz 6110 (MICH), Bridge at Sonamarg, 9,200 ft, F.G. Dickison 690 (MICH), Vicinity of Dras, ± 10,000 ft, 692 (MICH), Kargia Zaskar, ± 13,500 ft., W. Koelz 5475 (US), Zara Valley, meadow along stream, August 10th, 1951, William O. Douglas (US), Sonamarg, ± 9,000 ft., R.R. Stewart 9800 (RAW).
Distribution: Rumania, Ukraine, Turkey, Caucasus, Iran, Southern Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan and China (Xizang).
The species is fairly common and widespread in Ladakh (Kashmir) and in Pakistan, from Gilgit to Chitral between 2,700 – 4,800 m. Generally found in meadows along streams, on rocky slopes and in fields.
A highly polymorphic species occupying a large geographical area and showing considerable variation in the size of the plants, length of the petioles and of leaflets. Potentilla bifurca ssp. orientalis differs from the type subspecies in h aving adpressed pilose stems and petioles. The type subspecies bifurca has patent hairs on petioles and stems.