Taraxacum sect. Kashmirana

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Taraxacum sect. Kashmirana

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Distribution

Asia-Temperate: Afghanistan native Asia-Tropical: Pakistan nativenative; West Himalaya (Himachal Pradesh native, Jammu-Kashmir native)

Description

"Plants medium-sized, usually to 15 cm tall. Petiole unwinged or narrowly winged, rarely broadly winged in outer leaves. Leaves deep green to slightly glaucous-green, usually pinnatisect. Involucre usually 8–10 mm wide and rounded at base. Outer phyllaries numerous, usually 11–17, not imbricate, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, loosely appressed, arcuate to arcuate-recurved, with light greyish green, light green to mid-green surface and border not conspicuous, paler green or whitish membranous, usually 0.1–0.5 mm wide, sometimes with a darker middle strip, apex flat to corniculate. Stigmas usually discoloured. Anthers usually polliniferous, pollen grains irregular, rarely regular in size. Achenes fulvous-brown, brown, reddish fulvous or greyish stramineous-brown, (4–) 4.5–5 (–6) × 0.9–1.1 mm, body with subsparse shorter spinules and incised squamules in upper 1/4–1/3, but often with ± dense distinct erect-patent spinules, body usually subgradually, less often to subabruptly narrowing into subcylindrical to subconical cone (0.7–) 0.9–1.1 (–1.4) mm long; beak thin, (6.5–) 7.5–9 (–10.5) mm long; pappus yellowish white, 6–7.5 mm long. Mostly agamosperms, sometimes sexuals."

from Kirschner & al. (2020: 302)A

Systematics

An analysis of Taraxacum sect. Kashmirana, its relationships and morphological delimitation is provided by Kirschner & al. (2020). Accordingly, T. sect. Kashmirana, T. sect. Parvula and T. sect. Qaisera seem closely related with each other. T. sect. Kashmirana is somehow heterogeneous and some of its species appear to be intersectional intermediates, most frequently combining features of T. sect. Parvula and T. sect. Qaisera. Kirschner & al. (2020: 304) summarise their hypothesis of the origin of T. sect. Kashmiriana as follows: "In T. sect. Parvula, sexuality is primarily represented in T. parvulum s. lat., a widespread group of populations with variable achene colour and outer phyllary coloration. Hybridogenous processes involving morphologically similar agamosperms might have given rise to a swarm of forms now constituting what we call T. sect. Parvula, whilst hybridization with agamosperms of T. sect. Qaisera, in all likelihood, resulted in the formation of the variable group called T. sect. Kashmirana."A

Bibliography

A. Kirschner J., Štěpánek J., Klimeš L. & al., The Taraxacum flora of Ladakh, with notes on the adjacent regions of the West Himalaya in Phytotaxa 457: 1-409. 2020