Leontice chrysogonum Linn.
Perennial herbs with scapes (20-) 30-50 (-80) cm tall, erect; tuberous rhizome 2-5 cm in diam., almost globose or subglubose. Radical leaves 1-3, imparipinnate or deeply pinnatisect, petiolate, 10-20 (-25) cm long with petiole about 1/4 as long, horizontally spreading; lateral pinnae in 3-8 opposite pairs (rarely 3-4 in a whorl) and a slightly larger terminal pinna closely subtended by a pair of lateral pinnae, oblong-elliptic, sessile, 15-30 mm long, 6-10 (-15) mm broad, glaucous-green, often reddish near the rachis; terminal leaflet distinctly 3-5 toothed at the apex; fresh leaves sometimes mottled with reddish-brown spots. Racemes branched or paniculate in the upper half of the naked scapes, lax, with distant flowers on long bracteate spreading pedicels, Flowers 10-20 mm in diam., yellowish; pedicel 2-5 cm long in fruit, ascending; bracts 4-8 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, oblong-elliptic, entire, sessile. Sepals unequal in size and shape, ovate to suborbicular, 4-6 mm long, caducous. Petals oblong-ovate, lanceolate or elleptic-oblong, 8-12 mm long, 3.5-5 mm broad, yellow, irregularly and sparsely crenulate to entire with usually obtuse and retuse apices. Stamen about half as long as the petal; anthers about as long as the filaments, oblong, opening by 2 valves above. Capsule 10-15 (-20) mm long, 4-8 mm broad, ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, scarious or membranous grooved or with many folds of the wall, rupturing or splitting irregularly from the tip below; stigma separating with a segment or portion of the wall with a conspicuous dark line below; seeds 1-4 (-6), black, pruinose, 2-3 mm in diam.
Fl. Per. Feb.-April.
Type: Described from Greece, cornfields.
Distribution: E. Mediterranean eastward to W. Pakistan.
A very variable species in stature and leaves etc. Plants from the northern parts of W. Pakistan look less robust, few flowered with narrow petals, but these variations seem to be continuous. Leaves are used in curing sore eyes in horses and the tubers are eaten, cooked or raw, in time of scarcity in Baluchistan (Burkill, l.c.).