Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 August 2018 | 10(9): 12286–12289
Gentiana aperta (Gentianaceae) - a new record to India from Ladakh Himalaya
Mohd Shabir 1, Priyanka Agnihotri 2, Jay Krishan Tiwari 3 & Tariq Husain 4
1,2,4 Plant Diversity, Systematics & Herbarium Division, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226001, India
1,3 Plant Systematics Laboratory, Department of Botany and Microbiology, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, Uttarakhand 246174, India
email@example.com (corresponding author), firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gentiana L. is the largest and most diverse genus of family Gentianaceae, consisting of c. 362 species (Ho & Liu 2001; Mabberley 2008; Shabir et al. 2017b) and is largely distributed in the meadows of temperate, sub-alpine and alpine regions in Asia, Europe and North America and a few species occur in the Andes of South America, Central America, eastern Australia, and northwestern Africa (Ho & Liu 2001; Struwe & Albert 2002). In India, the genus is represented by 68 species (Gupta et al. 2012; Maity 2014; Shabir et al. 2017a,b) mainly distributed in alpine and sub-alpine meadows of both the eastern and western Himalaya.
During the ongoing revisionary study on the genus Gentiana in the Indian Himalaya, some interesting specimens of the genus were collected from alpine slopes of Ldokchan and Spang-rings of Tumail in Kargil District of Jammu & Kashmir, India, at an elevation of 3900-–4200 m. After critical examination of the specimens, we identified the species as Gentiana aperta Maxim., which has not been recorded in the Indian flora so far. Therefore, a detailed description along with photo plates and other relevant information of the species has been provided to facilitate its easy identification.
Maxim., Bull. Acad. Imp. Sci. Saint-Pétersbourg 3, 27: 500. 1881; T.N. Ho & S. Liu, Worldwide Monogr. Gentiana: 386. 2001; T.N. Ho & J.S. Pringle in Z.Y. Wu & P.H. Raven, Fl. China 16: 86. 1995 (Image 1).
Type: China, Qinghai (as W Kansu, Tangut region), to Huangsui river (fl. Rako-gol), 10,000‒11,000 ped., in meadows, in 1880, Przewalski s.n. (holotype: LE not seen; isotypes: K, P Images)
Annual herbs, 3.0–-6.0 cm high. Stem prostrate to ascending, striate, branched from the base. Basal leaves wither on anthesis, leaf blades ovate, 3.0–4.0 × 1.6–2.0 mm, apex obtuse, margin indistinctly membranous, veins distinct; cauline leaves, widely spaced, 3–6 paired, elliptic, spathulate to oblong, 2.5–3.5 × 1.0–1.5 mm, apex acute, mid-vein distinct, margin membranous. Inflorescence terminal, solitary; pedicels 3.0–4.0 mm long. Calyx 4.0–5.0 mm long; tube 2.8–3.4 mm long; lobes more or less equal, ovate, 1.2–1.5 × 0.6–0.8 mm, apex acute. Corolla white, pale blue to blue, 5.0–7.0 mm long, dark spot in the throat, tube 4.5–4.8 mm long; lobes ovate-oblong, 1.0–1.5 × 0.7–0.8, apex obtuse to sub-rounded, margin entire; plicae 0.6–0.9 mm long, 2-cleft, apex acute, margin entire. Stamens 5; filaments inserted near the middle of the corolla, 2.0–4.0 mm long; anther ellipsoid to orbicular, 0.35–0.45 × 0.18–0.30 mm. Style short; stigma bifid, recurved, lobes semi-orbicular; ovary 2.5–2.7 × c. 1.8 mm. Capsules 3.6–4.3 mm long; stipe 0.8–1.2 mm long. Seeds ellipsoid, 0.7–0.8 ×0.28–0.33 mm; seed coat reticulate.
Flowering & Fruiting: June–September.
Habitat: The species was found growing on the west facing alpine slopes of Ldokchan and Sprang-rings in Tumail, Kargil of the Ladakh Himalaya, India, associated with Gentiana leucomelaena Maxim, Gentiana aquatica L., Gentianopsis detonsa (Rottb.) Ma, and Gentianella tumailica M. Shabir, Agnihotri, Tiwari & Husain.
Distribution: China (Ho & Pringle 1995; Ho & Liu 2001), new to India.
Specimens examined: 309906 (LWG), India, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Kargil, Tumail, 3,900-–4,000 m, 12.viii.2016, coll. Mohd Shabir; 309908 (LWG), India, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Kargil, Tumail, 4,200m, 12.viii.2016, coll. Mohd Shabir; China: Gansu, Regio Tangut, 30.viii.1980, N.M. Przewalski s.n. (P); Gansu, Regio Tangut, 30.viii.1980, N.M. Przewalski s.n. (K).
Conservation status: Data deficient (DD).
Taxonomic notes: Gentiana aperta Maxim., belonging to Section Chondrophyllae Bunge, under the genus Gentiana was described by Maximowicz (1881) from Gansu, China. In the present state of our knowledge, this species is so far known only from China, and is endemic to the mountains of northeastern Qinghai and northwestern Gansu. The species growing in the Indian Himalaya is characterized by white to bluish-white flowers, apex of corolla lobes acute to sub-acute, dark-blue spot on the corolla throat, spots less dense on the throat and plicae deeply bifurcate, 2-cleft with both segments acute and entire, whereas, the plants growing in China have flowers bluish-white, apex of corolla lobes obtuse, yellowish-white spots on the corolla throat and spots scattered densely up to the base. Gentiana aperta is allied to Gentiana leucomelaena Maxim. In India, G. leucomelaena is distributed in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and the Sikkim Himalaya, and differs from G. aperta in having calyx lobes lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, apex acuminate, mid-vein prominent, plicae oblong, apex obtuse and margin irregularly laciniate.
Further, G. aperta also shows a taxonomic affinity with Kuepferia pringlei D. Maity & S.K. Dey, in the nature of habit and floral characters, but plicae well developed, as long as or near to the corolla lobe, apex deeply segmented with both segments acute and entire, not forming auricle, corolla lobes much shorter than the tube differentiate, the former from the latter. The report of G. aperta from the Ladakh Himalaya extends its range of distribution further southwestward.
Gupta, S.A., S.K. Mukherjee & M. Mondal (2012). A census of Gentiana L. in India, systematics of flowering plants, pp. 53–58. In: Maiti, G. & S.K. Mukherjee (eds.). Multidisciplinary approaches in Angiosperm Systematics. University of Kalyani, Kalyani.
Ho, T.N. & J.S. Pringle (1995). Gentianaceae, pp. 86–87. In: Wu, Z.Y. & P.H. Raven (eds.). Flora of China (Gentianaceae through Boraginaceae). Beijing: Science Press, and St Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden Press.
Ho, T.N. & S. Liu (2001). A Worldwide Monograph of Gentiana. Science Press. Beijing, China.
Mabberley, D.J. (2008). The Plant Book. A Portable Dictionary of Plants, their Classification and Uses - 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 354pp.
Maity, D. (2014). A new species of Gentiana L. (Gentianaceae) from Sikkim Himalaya. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 71: 289–296; http://doi.org/10.1017/S096042861400016X
Maximowicz, C.J. (1981). Diagnosis plantarum novarum asiaticarum. 1V. Scripsit. Bulletin de l’Academie imperial des Science de ST-Peterbourg, sér 327(4): 500‒501.
Shabir, M., P. Agnihotri, D. Husain, J.K. Tiwari & T. Husain (2017a). On the current status of the genus Gentiana L. (Gentianaceae) in India. Pleione 11(1): 16–24.
Shabir, M., P. Agnihotri, D. Husain, J.K. Tiwari & T. Husain (2017b). Lectotypification of the names of three species of Gentiana (Gentianaceae) occurring in India. Phytotaxa 324 (3): 293–297; http://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.324.3.6
Struwe, L. & A. Albert (2002). Gentianaceae: Systematics and Natural History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 227pp.