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Pakistan | Family List | Ranunculaceae | Nigella

2. Nigella sativa L., Sp.Pl. 534. 1753. Boiss., Fl.Or. 1:68.1867, Qureshi & Chaudhri in Pak. Syst. 4(l-2):32.1988.

Vern.: Kalonji.


Naturhistorisches Museum, Botanische Abteilung, Wien, Austria.


National Herbarium, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Slender or stout annual, 15-50 cm high, loosely pubescent, sometimes hairs glandular. Stem erect, simple or branched, finely striate. Leaf-lobes 0.8-2 mm wide, acute. Flowers single, without an involucre. Sepals whitish, ovate, ± obtuse, with a short distinct stipe, puberulous. Petals with a short, thick, subulate-capitate appendix. Follicles coherent throughout their length, inflated, tuberculate. Seeds triquetrous, rugose.

Fl. Per.: February-March.

Type: Described from Egypt and Crete.

B,C-6 Peshawar: Peshawar Univ. Campus, 22.2.1964, Jan. Mohd. s.n. (RAW), C-7 Rawalpindi, Coll. Ingot. s.n. (RAW).

Distribution: S. Europe, N. Africa, S.W. Asia.

Cultivated mainly as a spice as far as Ethiopia. It is difficult to tell wh ere it is actually indigenous. Obviously spontaneous plants are different from cultivated forms by shorter leaflets, the presence of more glandular hairs and more tubercles on the fruit. They have been separated as Nigella saliva var. hispidula Boiss. in Ann. Sci. Nat. ser. 2(16):360.1841, (Syn. N. sativa L. var. brachyloba Boiss., Fl.Or. 1:68.1877, Nigella glandulifora Freyn et Sint. in Bull. Herb. Boiss. Ser. 2(3):559.1903) from the type. I have seen some cultivated specimens of Nigella sativa from Pakistan.


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