Matthiola odoratissima auct. non (Pallas) R. Br.
Perennial, 15-100 cm tall, with ± woody base, usually tomentose with stel¬late, whitish hairs, branched mostly from the base. Basal leaves oblanceolate, elliptic-ovate to linear-elliptic, rarely sub-lyrate (1-2-jugate), sinuate, lobulate, dentate to almost entire, very variable in size and shape, (1.5-) 2-8 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm broad, stalked; upper leaves smaller, oblanceolate to linear, sinuate-toothed to entire, shortly stalked to sessile. Racemes 10-20-flowered, lax, up to 30 cm long in fruit. Flowers 10-15 mm across, brownish-mauve to purplish, often fragrant; pedicels 3-5 mm long in fruit, erect or ascending, ± thickened. Sepals 8-10 (-12) mm long. Petals 15-20 mm long, 1.5-2.5 mm broad, oblong-linear, entire, often inrolled from the apex. Stamens 5-6: 7-10 mm long; anthers 2-2.5 mm long. Siliquae linear-oblong, usually straight, slender, compressed, (50-) 60-100 cm long, 2-2.5 (-3) mm broad, pubescent (often densely) ; valves with a distinct mid-rib; stigma narrower than the pod, erect, bilobed, short, conical; seeds many, 2-2.5 mm long, c. 1.5 mm broad, with a very narrow marginal wing.
Fl. Per.: April-July.
Type: S. Iran, Kuh-Ajub, Kotschy 392 (G,K).
Distribution: Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and Turcomania.
A very polymorphic and complex species with regards to leaves and hairiness, but fairly constant in its slender habit, siliquae and short pedicels. It grows from rocky hills to sandy plains in Baluchistan. It seems difficult to maintain separate identity, as species, of Matthiola afghanica Rech. f. & Koeie, Matthiola chorassanica Bunge ex Boiss. and Matthiola tenera Rech. f., after seeing large number of specimens. This widely occurring species needs critical studies with adequate material from its entire range of distribution.