Fwd: Hybridisation in the flora of the Himalaya? Part I Aquilegia : 1 post by 1 author.
Since joining this group, I have not noticed any suggestions that hybridisation MIGHT be a complicating factor in any genus IN THE WILD? The only mention of hybrids I can quickly locate is for cultivated plants.
There are only 4 species of Aquilegia recorded from the Himalaya, so one might imagine it would be straightforward to distinguish between them. That has not been the case.
I still find some specimens, especially those in the Trans-Himalaya, difficult to be certain about. Are they A.fragrans or A.moorcroftiana? A.pubiflora and A.nivalis do not have many, if any records from these districts, so it is usually a choice between these.
But what about hybridisation, where populations overlap? Could this be a complicating factor.
Aquilegia cross readily in cultivation their ‘promiscuity’ being well-known, ending up with all sorts of mixtures. Aquilegia fragrans has been introduced in cultivation a number of times but very soon, seed offered e.g. in Seed Exchanges under this name can rapidly bear little resemblance to the genuine/ true species!