Astragalus



Astragalus frigidus (L.) A.Gray

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Astragalus nivalis Kar. & Kir.

 



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Pl. go through Astragalus (Fabaceae (Leguminosae)) page with images of species in efloraofindia.

If you find any incorrect identification, pl. let us know. If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), if any, or can identify unidentified images, it will be really nice.


A TOUGH genus!  Very large and UNDER-REPRESENTED on eFI.
There are 8 species (or so) plus an unidentified one.
Dickore & Klimes list 29 + an unidentified species from Ladakh alone!
My preliminary check-list for Ladakh compiled in the 1980s had 32 species of Astragalus.
Flowers of Himalaya estimated c. 36 spp. for this region.
Stewart recorded no fewer than 167 species for Pakistan & Kashmir - so it is fair to say that the efI data-base has BARELY scratched the surface of this genus in India!!
I do not have the time available to PROPERLY look into the species from Ladakh ONLY at this time - which would take not just days but probably weeks non-stop.  As for India as a whole, MONTHS - and that would NOT represent a proper revision.
Nevertheless, I do have images I can post of SOME (at least 5) not in the data-base but NOT MUCH MORE. 
It is a pity that those with specialist knowledge of this genus in India have not contributed to eFI.
Such a large and difficult genus REQUIRES input from specialists to enable MEANINGFUL coverage.
One has to be REALISTIC as what can be done at any given time.
Thanks, ... It will nice to have your images in the database. 


Fwd: Astragalus in Lahaul-Spiti : 1 post by 1 author.
Further to the focus on the Astragalus genus and my comments about how large and difficult this genus is!
As for 'Flora of Lahaul-Spiti' Aswal & Mehrotra (1994), this has only 21 entries - which in light of the number of species of this genus recorded in Ladakh by both Stewart plus Dickore & Klimes, I cannot but consider that AT LEAST several species are missing.
Furthermore, 2 or 3 of the entries should be included under 'Doubtful Species' rather than within the main text, reducing the figure to 18 or 19.  The authors had not observed these species themselves nor found pressed specimens in any India herbarium - they had been recorded by Rau but appear to be un-substantiated.
There is NO way confidence can be had in the 'claims' of records of this genus UNLESS they are supported by voucher pressed specimens in herbaria - AND that such specimens can be SCRUTINISED "Internationally".
I have yet had the time to scrutinise all the entries for Astragalus in 'Flora of Lahaul-Spiti' but A.ladakhensis Balak caught my eye.  Given the name it would be expected to occur in Ladakh, yet Dickore & Klimes do not list it.  I wonder why?
Strange that Aswal & Mehrotra record A.ladakhensis as common on moist sandy slopes and agricultural fields at Jispa. 
According to 'The Plant List' this name is UNRESOLVED - this source gives the authors as Rao & Balodi.
There is NO information about this species, NO images of herbarium specimens and no images of the plant in the wild!
SO, IF THIS IS A VALID SPECIES, THERE IS NO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE - OTHER THAN, APPARENTLY, SPECIMENS IN CAL AND BSD HERBARIA IN INDIA - WHICH I AM NOT IN A POSITION TO VISIT TO CHECK/COMMENT UPON.
One cannot but have doubts about this species. It is IMPOSSIBLE for most to check - an example of a HIGHLY UNSATISFACTORY SITUATION which applies to LARGE numbers of species belonging to MANY genera published in India!
This CONTRIBUTES to the confusion with such a large and difficult genus as Astragalus.
India's Biological Diversity Act, 2002 exacerbates the already DREADFUL situation.
Perhaps members of this group who DO have access to CAL and BSD herbaria can take good quality close-up digital photos of the specimens of Astragalus ladakhensis and send to me, allowing me (and others) to check/ confirm its status as a separate species?
Would a member ALSO send me the details of the description of this species, particularly how one distinguishes it from similar species and which species A.ladakhensis might have been mistaken for in the past.  Stewart did not know this species.
Even IF I could afford the cost (and time) to ATTEMPT to visit such herbaria in India (which I currently cannot), no doubt I would experience difficulties gaining access to the specimens. Experience in the past has shown it is DIFFICULT to gain access to Indian herbaria. This made no sense to me.
What is the good of having REFERENCE specimens if ACCESS is DENIED......

 



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