Aerva pseudotomentosa Blatter & Hallberg
Spikes more slender, often interrupted with oblong or globose lateral clusters, all spikes except the terminal frequently shortly cylindrical or oblong. Leaves linear to narrowly linear-oblong, or narrowly oblong-obovate, up to c. 6 mm wide, margins plane or involute, sometimes ± falcate-recurved. Outer tepals c. 2 mm long.
Type: Arabia, Bove (lectotype).
Distribution: Through much of the distribution of the species from the Indian desert westwards through Iran and Afghanistan to Palestine, Egypt and the Sahara, and south to Niger, the Sudan, Somalia and Arabia.
The plate of var. bovei given in Fl. Iranica Lf. 91, Tab. 2 (1972), depicting Rech. 27461 from between Bela and Uthal, certainly does not agree with the concept of this variety which I have gained from the type, the specimens of Stocks, Edgeworth, Griffith etc. It appears to be var. javanica-possibly a male plant in view of the slender spikes—though as mentioned above, by no means all slender-spiked plants are male.
Var. bovei certainly grades into var. javanica by intermediates, as demonstrated by a series of speciemens from E-5 Dera Ghazi Khan District: c. 8 miles from Kashmoor on way to Rajhan, Sultanul Abedin & Akbar Husain 9524-6,9543. These have narrow leaves, but all the spikes are elongate. Moquin would have included them in his concept of var. bovei (DC. Prodr. 13(2): 300, 1849), as an examination of the IDC microfiche of the De Candolle Herbarium indicates; but in Pakistan the clearest break in the series occurs between “typical” Aerva javanica with broad leaves and stout, elongate spikes, and the “Ae. Pseudo-tomentosa” form with narrow leaves and short, interrupted spikes.