Dear All I have located CLEMATIS ORIENTALIS - A MUCH CONFUSED SPECIES by Dr Grey-Wilson(which was published in 'The Plantsman' on behalf of the UK Royal Horticultural Society). Can now read through it from a better informed angle and having looked at more photos (and a few pressed specimens) ofthis species 'complex'. over the past days. I am clearer though some characteristics do overlap (as the author explains). Shall share the most important points of this account in relation to the confusion over similar species in the NW Himalaya and borderlandsof Western Tibet: 1. Let us begin with C.graveolens (remember, if Stewart was correct, this is found @ 1000-270m in Afghanistan & Baluchistan) - apparently immediately recognised by the small notch at the tip of each sepal, a unique feature in this section of the genus Clematis. There are other characteristics but this is straightforward. Most photos and illustrations are not correct - if one follows Grey-Wilson; only the following is K: http://plantillustrations.org/illustration.php?id_illustration=51575&SID=0&mobile=0&code_category_taxon= fits - note the notch and the tip of the sepals! Grey-Wilson makes no mention of the supposed strong smell of this species as to its species name indicates but such characteristics cannot be detected from herbarium specimens - which primarily the material he had to work with. Good close-up photos taken "in the wild" are so useful as are living specimens of known provenance in cultivation. Unfortunately, although the Nagoya Protocol is well-intended, the additional restrictions mean that less reliable material will be available in cultivation - a shame and loss to efforts to conserve plant species... 2. C.tibetana - he gives subsp. vernayi from West & North Nepal & S.Tibet but not Ladakh or anywhere in Indian Trans-HimalayaI have seen this in the Upper Kali Gandaki Valley, Nepal. There is a C.tibetana subsp. tibetana from Kumaon; it differs principally in is less thick and more pointed sepals. He recognises var. lanciniifolia endemic to West Nepal esp. upper reaches of Upper Kali Ganaki. I shall be posting my thinking from each entry for C.tibetana and C.ladakhiana in efloraofIndia - most are not correct..... 3. C.ladakhiana - he says this is similar to C.tibetana (which is certainly the case); he does not seem to have seen photos of very attractive forms of this species and does not mention flower colour at all (this is the problem with only being able to examine pressed specimens whenthe are few, if any field notes esp. not mentioning flower colour - which often changes when a plant has dried). He says the leaflets are narrow-lanceolate, entire or with one to several acute lobes in the lower half, the apex drawn out into a long acute tip. Sepals lanceolate to elliptical, acute, glabrous outside but silkily pubescent inside.Most of the images at https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22Clematis+ladakhiana%22&tbm=isch&gws_rd=ssl are correct but the first has been misidentified! Though as t comes from a gardening forum this comes as no surprise. 4. C.orientalis - he says main features to note are the glaucous lobed or unlobed leaflets and small flowers with reflexed sepals. In combination, these features distinguish it from all other members of this section of the genus. It is certainly an immensely variable species, hardly surprising for a taxon that has a west-east distribution of some 4500km! 5. C.tangutica - I have to say that I find its disjunct distribution rather surprising (though that in essence is normally the case for 'disjunct' distributions..), primarily Western China pus North Kashmir (incl. Ladakh). It has green, serrate-margined leaves and lemon-yellow lantern-flowers. Subspecies are recognised. Sepals drawn out into an acute tip. I consider it would be helpful, especially for the non-taxonomists (of which I am one) in this google group if I summarise Grey-Wilson's introductory notes to this article as these provide an excellent explanation as to the difficulties faced by taxonomists when trying to "place into neat pigeon-holes of species, subspecies or varieties" plants which exhibit complex variation. After all, their purpose is to clarify and attempt to clear up muddles and confusions which have often existed for 2-3 hundred years! He rightly states that Clematis species present a number of fundamental problems of classification. Foremost amongst these is the limited number of useful and stable characteristics that can be usefully employed separating species or species complexes. Ranunculaceae in genealis notoriously difficult in this respect, with genera such as Aconitum, Anemone, Delphinium, and Ranunculus, besides Clematis, all with a host of closely interrelated groups of species and species complexes. Species often appear to be quite distinct in one part of their range, whilst overlapping in various characters in another. This is certainly true of C.orientalis and its allies, where the position is further complicated by the occurenc of natural hybrid which 'blur' he species boundaries and complicate identification. I am in no position to suggest hybrids as the explanation for images, often not showing sufficient overall detail, not fitting satisfactorily into the species of this complex outlined by Grey-Wilson. That is the domain of someone who has specialised in the genus and revised it in the Himalaya. It was Grey-Wilson who named C.ladakhiana. He asked my team from the University of Southampton to collect pressed specimens of Clematis during our 1980 expedtion. Nevertheless, in the absence of such an authority available to check, then it seems reasonable for me to offer my current thought as to the identity of the Clematis orientalis complex found in the NW Himalaya and Indian Trans-Himalaya - it will certainly represent an improvement on the utter muddle which presently exist - and my provisional identifications can then be corrected or amended in the future but at present the situation is bewildering. Though the same applies to my genera in the NW Himalaya.
Best Wishes, Chris Chadwell 81 Parlaunt Road SLOUGH SL3 8BE UK www.shpa.org.uk From: J.M. Garg <jmga...@gmail.com> To: efloraofindia <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: Saroj Kasaju <kasajusa...@gmail.com>; chrischadwell...@btinternet.com Sent: Thursday, 13 October 2016, 5:43 Subject: [efloraofindia:253559] Fwd: Clematis tibetana Kuntze Forwarding again for Id assistance please.Some earlier relevant feedback: | Dickore & Klimes list 4 taxa for Clematis in Ladakh: C.ladakhiana, C.orientalis, Clematis orientalis var. tenuifolia and C.tangutica. They do not list C.tibetana. Stewart only listed C.orientalis - he omitted the varieties proposed e.g. var. tenuifolia from Pangong and var. acutifolia. C.ladakhiana wasnot known at that time. I am currently a bit unsure about some specimens. Prior to my first visit to Ladakh in 1980, Kew's Dr Grey-Wilson, A Clematis specialist, asked usto look out for Clematis in the Suru Valley - we found a specimen climbing along walls separating fields at Kargil. I consider photos 3 and 4 shot in the Nubra Valley are what I understand to be C.ladakhiana. I am unsure about photos 1 & 2. I recollect viewing pressed specimens of a Clematis from Pakistan which had very dissected foliage with narrow leaflets and small flowers which I understood to be within C.orientalis. Grey-Wilson did write an article in 'The Plantsman' (I do not have the full reference to-hand) but was left unsure about distinguishing between these closely-related species. Would welcome the thoughts of others. - from Chris Chadwell ji. | | Picture 1 and 2 and the additional picture.I guess it is Clematis graveolens Lindl. Sending link for reference also. Link 1Link 2Link 3 | | I can understand that Clematis graveolens would be suggested as a possibility. According to Stewart, C.graveolens is only found from 1000-2700m in many parts of Pakistan and Kashmir, through to Kishtwar. Also Afghanistan. On the outer ranges of the Himalaya. His comment was " often confused with Clematis orientalis of the hot inner ranges". I must try and locate the article by Grey-Wilson in 'The Plantsman' (the title was along the lines of Clematis orientalis aand its allies, I spoke off to see what he says of C.graveolens. Though as I said previously, I remained somewhat confused after reading it last time. I cannot speak with authority, so we need input by a Clematis specialist here. Dickore and Klimes would have been fully aware of C.graveolens when compiling their check-list for Ladakh and do not include this species. 'Flowers of Himalaya' describe C.graveolens as "sweet scented, pale yellow (which does not fit with the painting of C.graveolens) with elliptic spreading petals usually notched at apex and conspicuously hairy with a band of hairs on the margin outside, hairy inside, flowers 2-5 cm across; a slender climber. They record it from dry areas, banks, edges of cultivation at 900-3000m from Afghanistan to C.Nepal, A common problem with many photos even high quality close-ups, one cannot always see the necessary detail to check such characteristics. It is worth repeating, time and time again, we should always be aware that most taxonomy is based upon examining closely, dried, pressed specimens in herbaria - not from fresh, living plants. Until very recently, few photographs from the "field [wild]" were available to consult. Hopefully, in time, as more and more quality close-up images taken with digital cameras become available to those revising genera taxonomically, characteristics may be noticed which can be diagnostic in fresh specimens. In the mean-time, do keep posting images, take many more per plant/specimen (as I am advocating) on future occasions and where possible, make notes in the field describing features of Clematis and other genera which need close inspection. A good quality hand lens (at least x10, ideally x 20 or even more sophisticated if available) makes a big difference and is an indispensable tool for any keen amateur botanist (and essential for professional ones). The more this is done (accepting that it can be very tiring, indeed exhausting, exploring for plants up in the mountains esp. in extremes of temperature - and at the highest altitudes it is hard to record things methodically). But the better the images send in to efloraofIndia, the greater the contribution it can make - and considerably aids attempts at reliable identifications. We need to achieve the best identifications as possible, otherwise others will just assume what is on this site is correct. Best Wishes,Chris Chadwell | | Yes only confusion is the altitude which is not much different but looks like it is matching? Any expert help?? Thank you. Saroj | | | | | | | | | ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Saroj Kasaju <kasajusa...@gmail.com> Date: 29 September 2016 at 15:45 Subject: Clematis tibetana Kuntze To: efloraofindia <email@example.com>, "J.M. Garg" <jmga...@gmail.com> Dear Members, Sharing some pictures I guess is Clematis tibetana Kuntze shot at Nubra Valley on 21 August 2014. Please verify ID if first two pictures are same sp. Thank you. Saroj Kasaju -- With regards, J.M.Garg'Creating awareness of IndianFlora & Fauna'Winner of Wipro-NFS Sparrow Awards 2014 for efloraofindia. 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