14. Androsace baltistanica Y. Nasir, sp. nov.
YASIN J. NASIR
Planta ± laxe caespitosa. Stolones brunnei. Rosulae foliorum 5-10 mm latae, laxae, usque 10 mm inter se distantes. Folia isomorpha, exteriora 2.2-6 x 1.1-2.1 mm, marcescentia, basi saepe lata, siccitate griseo-brunnea, carina subtus indistincta. Folia interiora 3.5-7 x 1.8 mm, ± erecta, viridia oblanceolata usque lanceolata, obtusa, supra glabra usque sparse glanduloso-pubescentia. Pili albi usque pallide rubiginosi, 0.46-1.2 mm longi, articulati, cum brevioribus glandulosis stipitatis intermixti. Scapus 9-47 mm longus, gracilis, 1-3-florus, pubescens. Bracteae 2-3 mm longae, late lanceolatae, villosae. Pedicellus bractea 2-2½-plo longior, vel ei aequilongus. Calyx 2.2-3 mm longus, hemisphaericus usque ± campanulatus, usque ad dimidiam partem fissus, viridis, villosus; lobi late triangulares, obtusi. Corollae limbus 6-9 mm latus; lobi 3.3-3.5 mm longi, obovati, retusi.
Plants ± loose caespitose. Stolons brown. Leaf rosettes 5-10 mm broad, loose and up to 10 mm apart. Leaves isomorphic, outer ones 2.2-6 x 1.1-2.1 mm, marcescent, base often broad, grey-brown on drying, carina on undersurface faint. Inner leaves 3.5-7 x 1.8 mm, ± erect, green, oblanceolate to lanceolate-obtuse, glabrous to sparse pubescent-glandulose on the upper surface. Hairs white to pale rusty, 0.46-1.2 mm long, articulate, mixed with shorter glandular-stipitate ones. Scape 9-47 mm long, slender, 1-3-flowered, pubescent-hairy. Bracts 2-3 mm long, broad lanceolate, villous. Pedicel 2-2½ times longer than the bract or equalling it. Calyx 2.2-3 mm long, hemispheric to ± campanulate, ½ cleft, green, villous, lobes broad triangular, obtuse. Corolla limb 6-9 mm broad, lobes 33-3.5 mm long, obovate, retuse.
Fl. Per.: June-July.
Holotype: Baltistan: Atosar vy., ± 13000', rocky slopes, pink with red eye, E. Nasir. & G.L. Webster 6148 (RAW, iso. G!).
Distribution: Gilgit, Baltistan, Ladak and W. Tibet.
The species was previously confused with either Androsace muscoidea, its nearest ally, or Androsace robusta. It differs from the former in having leaves in loose rosettes, indument usually with white hairs only, and a well developed scape bearing up to 4 flowers. From the latter it differs in being less robust, with smaller plant parts and fewer number of flowers. The distribution rangs of the species and Androsace muscoidea overlap in Gilgit area.
Androsace baltistanica shows some variation in the density and colour of hairs. Plants especially from the Deosai-Satpura area have a denser pubescence and the colour of hairs varies to light brown (R.R. Stewart nos. 20197, 20216 A and 20250). An escapose form collected by F. Schmid is represented from Burji la. R.R. Stewart’s 20250 has leaves which are ± columnar.
Fruiting material though not available on the Type specimen, is represented by Polunin no. 6322 (G) from Hispar; the.capsule here is ± ovaloid, with 1-2 seeds which are ± 1 mm long.