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Pakistan | Family List | Asparagaceae | Asparagus

7. Asparagus gharoensis Blatter in J. Ind. Bot. Soc. 6: 70. 1927. Fl. Ind. Delta 30. 1929.

S. I. Ali & Sher Wali Khan

Shrub, c. 180 cm high, diffuse, stem and older branches woody, ashy-grey, stiff, the younger flexuose, grass green, conspicuously striate, striae scabrous. Leaves scale- lik deltoid ovate, acute or ovate-acuminate, 6 mm long and more, with a spur about 2 mm long at the base, standing out from the branch. Cladodes up 35 mm long, in cluster of 3-8, stout, linear, triquetrous (not channeled). Flowers axillary, up to 12 in a cluster, pedicels 3-5 mm long, filiform. Perianth 4-5 mm long, segments lanceolate (not oblanceolate) with a strong midrib. Stamens 6, adnate to the base of perianth-segments, filaments free. Ovary slightly trigonous on top and depressed. Style 1-2 mm long, stigmas 3, recurved. Berry 3 mm in diameter. Seed 1 by abortion, testa black shining. (Blatter, l. c. 1927).

Type: Gharo in the Indus Delta on sandy and clayey soil associated with Leptadenis spartium, Blatter 699 (BLATT)

Cotypes: Thatta, associating with Euphorbia caducifolia, Blatter 700-708 (BLATT).

Distribution: Sind (Thatta, Ghulamullah, Gharo).

According to Blatter (l. c.) this species is nearly related to Asparagus dumosus Baker, but differs by the cladodes not being channeled by larger leaves and cladodes, by the greater number of flowers forming a c luster, by the lanceolate perianth segments, by longer pedicels and by recurved stigmas.

All our efforts to collect this plant from Gharo, Gholam (now known as Ghulamullah) have not been successful. Lot of developments have taken place, durng the last 81 years. What may have been small villages have now attained the status of districts (Thatta, Gharo). On way to Ghulamullah there are cement and crushing factories, thus the ecology of the area is completely changed.

It is most likely that the taxon is now extinct.


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