7. Eremostachys superba Royle ex Benth. in Hook., Bot. Misc. 3: 381. 1833. Mukerjee in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 14, 1: 201. 1940; Hedge in Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 23: 162. 1968; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 613. 1972; Sharma & Kachroo, Fl. Jammu 264. 1981; Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 150: 278, t. 257, 1982.
Vern.: "Gajar Mula".
Root thick, woody, vertical; collar woolly or scarcely so. Stems simple, 40-80 (-120) cm, usually with a thin indumentum of simple hairs. Leaves oblong to ovate in outline, simple and crenate to pinnatipartite or pinnatisect with lobed to serrate margins; lamina c. 10-20 x 5-10 cm, on both surfaces with a sparse indumentum of short or longer simple hairs (rarely some irregularly rayed stellate-dendroid hairs occur); petiole upto c. 10 cm. Verticillasters 7-14, 8-12-flowered, distant or approximating, ± white lanate. Bracts 1/2-2/3 length of calyx, ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, spinulose. Calyx broadly ovate-campanulate, 12-15 mm, somewhat coriaceous, with an indumentum of simple eglandular hairs sometimes also with some shorter glandular hairs; teeth ending in 1-2 mm spines. Corolla 25-30 mm, yellow; upper lip villous and white bearded with simple hairs only; lower lip subequal to or longer than upper, sometimes with a very broad median lobe; tube included in calyx, without an annulus. Nutlets 7 x 3.5 mm, brown black, trigonous.
Fl. Per.: March-April.
Type: [India] Garwhal, Kheere pass, Royle.
Distribution: E. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (NW Himalayas).
Characteristic features of this handsome species are the simple to 1 x pinnatisect leaves, an indumentum on all parts of the plant of simple hairs only (it should however be noted that stellate dendroid hairs do rarely occur on leaves) and the exannulate corolla tube; from the material available for study, plants from outwith our area to the east seem to have generally larger corollas but otherwise are no different. Eremostachys superb is a clear ally of the preceding species.
A field-note on an Indian specimen notes that "the leaves are used for poisoning fish" (see also Journ. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 42: 854. 1941); cf. similar remarks under Eremostachys vicaryi.