I.C. Hedge & A. Paton
Scutellaria swatensis Murata
Perennial, spreading, suffruticose, herb, with a thick woody rootstock.
Stems 10-30 cm, procumbent or weakly ascending, slender, round-quadrangular, leafy, much branched; indumentum of short dense eglandular, weakly retrorse or patent hairs, becoming longer, patent and glandular above. Leaves thick-textured, triangular or narrow ovate, regularly crenulate or crenate, truncate or broadly cuneate, acute; indumentum of dense short eglandular hairs, on abaxial surface with numerous sessile glands. Petioles 2-10 mm. Inflorescence 4-sided, lax, terminal, flowers subtended by elliptic to broad elliptic 4-7 x 3-4 mm bracts which are entire, cuneate to acute, purple or not, not or scarcely overlapping, cuculate, thin-textured, densely glandular or eglandular pilose. Pedicels 2.5-4 mm, erect, flattened. Calyx c. 1.5 mm, with a small often purple scutellum, enlarging in fruit to 3 mm with a 2.5 mm high scutellum; indumentum similar to that of the indumentum axis. Corolla 18-21 mm, yellow or blue violet, with darker lower lip, spreading erect or erect, densely glandular pilose; tube 12-15 mm. Immature outlets smooth with adpressed hairs, grey black or brown.
Fl. Per.: June-October.
Holotype: Afghanistan, Nuristan: Chetras, 2800 m, Edelberg 846 (W!). Isotype (C).
Distribution: Afghanistan, Pakistan.
As indicated under Scutellaria multicaulis, this is not a clear-cut species, and although prostrate forms of it are clearly different from Scutellaria multicaulis, there are many intermediate forms which effectively blur the demarcation line. In Rechinger’s opinion (Fl. Iran. l.c. 65), Scutellaria edelbergii is a species of that area of E. Afghanistan and adjacent territories influenced by the tail-end of monsoon conditions. He took a rather wide circumscription of the species recognizing 4 subspecies (some of which we regard as better in Scutellaria multicaulis) of very varied habit. He believed that it could be distinguished from all of the numerous variants of Scutellaria multicaulis by the long-petiolate, truncate to subcordate triangular lower leaves. But he did concede that possibly there were introgressed hybrid races.