I.C. Hedge & A. Paton
Scutellaria edelbergii subsp. chitralensis Rech. f.
Perennial tufted, suffruticose herb with a thick woody rootstock. Stems 8-30 cm, erect, slender, round-quadrangular, much branched; indumentum of short dense eglandular, weakly retrorse hairs, becoming longer, patent and glandular above. Leaves thick-textured, narrow ovate or ovate, 3-14 x 1.5-9 mm, crenate to strongly crenate, cuneate, acute; indumentum of dense short eglandular and rarely glandular hairs, adaxial surface with numerous sessile glands. Petioles to 8 mm; upper leaves sessile. Inflorescence 4-sided, lax, rarely condensed, terminal; flowers subtended by the elliptic 5-6 x 2-3 mm bracts, which are entire or subentire, cuneate, acute, purplish or not, not or scarcely overlapping, cucullate, thin-textured, densely glandular and eglandular ciliate or pilose. Pedicels 2.5-3.5 mm, ± erect, ± flattened. Calyx c. 1.5
mm, with a small, usually purple scutellum, enlarging in fruit to 3 mm with a 2 mm high scutellum; indumentum similar to inflorescence axis. Corolla 18-23 mm, white, yellow with purple lips, or dark purple, spreading-erect or erect, densely glandular and eglandular pilose; tube 13-17 mm. Nutlets smooth, covered with adpressed hairs, grey-black, c. 1.5 x 1 mm.
Fl. Per.: June-July.
Holotype: [S Iran Fars]: Kuh Delu, Kotschy 526 (G). Isotypes (El, W).
Distribution: Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan.
As the key to the species implies, the differences between Scutellaria multicaulis and Scutellaria edelbergii (and some other related species) are slight and often quantitative rather than qualitative. Scutellaria multicaulis is a very common plant in Afghanistan, but apparently less so in our area where the material available for study is less than ideal. Our account for species 8-10 is therefore provisional. We have regarded Scutellaria multicaulis as generally a rather stiffly erect plant and Scutellaria edelbergii as prostrate-ascending, but there are many specimens (in Afghanistan and Pakistan) which are not readily assignable to one or the other. Rechinger (l.c.) in an attempt to clarify a very complex problem recognized 3 intergrading subspecies in Scutellaria multicaulis and 4 in Scutellaria edelbergii. We have been unable to recognize these taxa in our area.