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Published In: Diagnoses Plantarum Orientalium Novarum, ser. 1 7: 69. 1846. (Diagn. Pl. Orient., ser. 1,) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: This genus contains about 200 species, mostly restricted in distribution and confined to mountainous regions (chiefly in intermediate and higher zones). It has its maximum development in S.W. Asia and Central Asia, but extends to the West as far as S. Albania, S.W. Greece and Crete, and eastward to W. Tibet. 8 species are reported from W. Pakistan.


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Perennial, pulvinate shrub. Leaves commonly linear-triquetrous, sub-cylindrical, subulate. sometimes flat and fairly broad, scabrid or smooth-margined, nearly always pungent. Inflorescence a simple or branched, distichous spike, sometimes paniculate or a spicate-head. Calyx funnel-shaped or tubular, 5-nerved, usually glabrous internally on the nerves. Petals slightly connate at the base. Filaments of stamens dilated in the lower part and adnate to the petals. Ovary linear-cylindrical imperceptibly passing into five free styles, glabrous, rarely verrucose; styles glabrous, rarely verrucose; stigmas hemispherical or sub-oblong-capitate.

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1 Leaves heteromorphic; spring leaves fleshy, deciduous; summer leaves subulate, pungent, persistent. (2)
+ Leaves homomorphic, plane or lineartriquetrous, persistent (5)
2 (1) Inflorescence paniculate, spikelets arranged singly (3)
+ Inflorescence not paniculate, spikelets in groups. (4)
3 (2) Calyx sub-tublar, limb narrowly folded Acantholimon longiflorum
+ Calyx funnel-shaped, limb not folded Acantholimon stocksii
4 (2) Scape 3-4 times as long as the leaves; 2-3 spikelets in a fascicle Acantholimon longiscapum
+ Scape twice as long as leaves; 5-6 spikelets in a fascicle. Acantholimon polystachyum
5 (1) Spikelets 2-4-flowered, 4-5-bracteate (6)
+ Spikelets 1-flowered, 3-bracteate Acantholimon munroanum
6 (5) Inflorescence 1-2 times branched, contacted, distichous or imbricate spike; outer bract herbaceous (7)
+ Inflorescence a spicate-head; outer bract totally membranous Acantholimon calocephalum
7 (6) Scape shorter than the leaves; leaves plane; spike distichous Acantholimon lycopodioides
+ Scape longer than the leaves; leaves linear-triquetrous; Spike imbricate Acantholimon leptostachyum
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