Overview

Distribution

S Qinghai (Nangqên Xian, Zadoi Xian), S Xizang (Lhasa Shi) [Afghanistan, Kashmir, Nepal, Pakistan].
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Distribution: Pakistan.
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Afghanistan, Himalaya (Kashmir, Nepal), S. Tibet.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants many branched, with crowded shoots forming cushions. Flowering stem 0.8-2.5 cm, glandular hairy, leafy. Shoot leaves aggregated into a rosette, oblong to subspatulate, 4-7 × 1.3-2 mm, leathery, both surfaces glabrous, chalk glands 5, margin denticulate-ciliate proximally or glabrous, apex recurved, obtuse. Cauline leaves lanceolate-oblong, 3.5-5 × ca. 1 mm, chalk gland 1, margin glandular hairy proximally, apex obtuse or acute. Cyme (2 or)3- or 4-flowered, rarely flower solitary; branches ca. 1 cm. Sepals erect, purple, oblong to sublanceolate, 2-3 × 1-1.4 mm, abaxially and marginally sparsely glandular pilose, veins 3, not confluent at apex, apex acute. Petals usually pink, obovate, ca. 5 × 2.5-3.3 mm, 5-veined, base gradually narrowed into a short claw, apex obtuse. Stamens 3-3.5 mm. Ovary semi-inferior; styles 1.5-2.2 mm. Fl. Jun-Aug. 2n = 26.
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Description

Caespitose herb. Basal leaves densely imbricate, 4-7 x 1-2 mm, oblong, apex flattened, pitted. Cauline leaves linear-oblong to spathulate, glandular. Flowers usually 3, in corymbs, grey-purple. Peduncle 2.5 cm long. Sepals oblong, obtuse, glandular. Petals obovate, cuneate at the base. Styles long, divergent, recurved at the top. Capsule globoid.
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Elevation Range

4600-4800 m
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Ecology

Habitat

Alpine rock crevices; 4200-4500 m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flower/Fruit

Fl.Per.: May-July.
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Notes

Comments

In FRPS, Saxifraga afghanica was described as having solitary flowers. The belief that this species normally has 1-flowered cymes originates from the drawing provided by Engler and Irmscher (in Engler, Pflanzenr. 69(IV. 117. II): 567, fig. 116, F. 1919). This is not the usual condition, as the protologue makes clear when it refers to the cymes being (2 or)3- or 4-flowered.
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Comments

Apparently known only from the original gathering which was probably made, despite the specific epithet, in Pakistan, at the head of the Kurram Valley, Shendtoi Gorge. Probably not found in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Nepal and S.E. Tibet as mentioned in Flora Iranica. Grows on rocks and stones from 2270-3330 m. The flowers are quite large for the short moss-like stems.
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