16a. Geranium pratense ssp. stewartianum Y. Nasir, ssp. nov.
YASIN J. NASIR
Lamina foliae, 25-60 x 45-98 mm. Inflorescentia laxa, floribus adscendentibus. Pedicelli 8-35 mm longi, ± adscendentes. Corolla caeruleo-purpurea vel purpurea. Petala 17-20 mm longa.
Lamina of leaf 25-60 x 45-98 mm. Inflorescence lax, with the flowers upwardly inclined. Pedicels 8-35 mm long, more or less ascending corolla blue. Purple or darkly so. Petals 17-20 mm long.
Perennial 46 cm or more tall. Stem ascending, subglabrous to glandular hairy. Leaves cordate-angular to suborbicular-angled, 7-9 palmatisect. Segments rhombic cuneate into obtuse-acutish or acuminate lobes. Lamina (25-) 42-60 x (45-) 70-98 mm, long petioled. Middle and upper cauline leaves smaller, upper-most subsessile. Stipules lanceolate to wedged-shaped, acuminate, up to 13 mm long, apex rarely 2-fid. Inflorescence lax, 2-flowered, appressed pubescent or dense glandular hairy with brownish yellow hairs. Pedicels ascending (8-) 9-2,7 mm long, up to 25 mm in fruit, glandular ,or not. Bracts subulate to lanceolate, (1.8-) 4.5-13 mm long. Sepals elliptic lanceolate, (6-) 8-11 mm long. Petals blue-purple or darkly so, base dilated or narrow, ciliate or pubescent. Mericarp and beak glandular hairy-pubescent. Seed minutely reticulate.
There is still some confusion and difference of opinion regarding the Geranium pretense complex. J.D. Hooker (1874, p. 429) and R. Knuth (1912, p. 127), considered the Himalayan form as identical with the European. Schönbeck-Temesy (1970, p. 15), did not think that Geranium pretense occurred in the N.W. Himalaya, but did not spell out the differences. Woronaw (in Fl. Cauc. Crit. 1908), recognized several infraspecific taxa in Geranium pratense. He has been followed to some extent by Davis (1967), who recognizes one subspecies occurring in Turkey. Yeo (pers. Commun.), who has worked on the Gerania of the Himalaya (and also on an experimental basis), considers a ‘Kashmir form’ and a ‘Nepal form’ of the widespread Geranium pratense; Hara (1982, p. 76) in his enumeration of the Geraniaceae for Nepal (1982, p. 76) does not make any formal recognition of the Nepal form.
In the present account I have considered the N.W. Himalayan form of Geranium pretense as of subspecific rank.
The subspecies stewartianum is named after Dr. R.R. Stewart, who has done so much for botany and botanical research in the N.W. & W. Himalaya.
The subspecies differs from the type subspecies in generally having smaller leaves, a lax inflorescence, flowers which are larger, darker and more upwardly inclined and pedicels that are larger and less sharply deflexed. However, none of these characters are entirely absolute for a satisfactory delimitation. Amongst the N.W. Himalayan species, Geranium himalayense resembles this subspecies but differs in the lighter coloured flowers and pedicels which are distinctly deflexed in fruit.
Over its wide distributional range in the N.W. Himalaya, the subspecies stewartianum shows morphological variation which can be expressed in the form of more or less discrete units. Variation is found in the degree of hairiness, the bract length and the nature of the petal base.
Based on these morphological variation, I have recognised 2 varieties.