Artemisia sieversiana Ehrh., Species Plantarum. Editio quarta 3: 1845 1800.;
Artemisia macrocephala Jacquemont ex Besser : 11 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3)
Sharing some oictures I guess is Artemisia macrocephala Jacquemont ex Besser shot at Nubra Valley on 21 August 2016.
This does not fit Artemisia macrocephala. See my previous comments about this very difficult genus.
Any expert can ID?
Pl. check comparative images at Artemisia
See my previous comments about this very difficult genus. It will take a lot of time and effort for me to become more familiar with this challenging genus in Ladakh.
In the mean-time, IF we have someone more familiar with the genus, would they kindly comment.
I have been able to make some progress with your images of an Artemisia taken in Nubra Valley by …
Any link between two?
Catalogue of Life
Well, Hooker I FBI lists the two species one after each other with both as annuals or biennals (a characteristic of perhaps greater significance than realised.
Just noted that ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ states that A.sieversiana is common on stony ground in Ladakh (also in dry areas of Nepal) to 4100m. They say flower-heads 6-8mm or more across.
Interestingly, Aswal & Mehrotra in ‘Flora of Lahaul-Spiti’ state that A.macrocephala is frequent, a characteristic strongly aromatic species of dry Himalayan zone, often forms clumps on slopes yet they only include A.sieversiana on the strength of it being recorded in ‘Flora of Himachal Pradesh’. They separate the two on the basis of Heads nodding, in lax long racemes (A.sieversiana) whilst heads nodding at ends of branches (A.macrocephala).
If you read the observations which follow you will appreciate that I am attempting, if not the impossible, a challenging task of meaningfully naming material based, in this case, on a small number of non-close-up images not showing the upper or lower foliage to help confirm (or not) my provisional thoughts. Thus my detective work only has a few clues to help. Most naming of Artemsias has been based upon pressed specimens which can be
Many species in Ladakh (belonging to a variety of genera) have characteristic smells/odours – which if noted could make a significant contribution to identification – sometimes these odours persist in dried/pressed specimens.
Please note unless there is a Artemisia specialist who has recently examined material from Ladak and surrounding regions who can comment with greater authority, my observations must be viewed as more provisional than normal (i.e. for most other genera) but are worth making in an effort to improve the present
situation and encourage further observations and photographs (and for authorised botanists pressed specimen collection for herbaria) – which is the only way to make more progress.
I think it will be informative if I reproduce the thoughts of Kletter & Kriechbaum within ‘Tibetan Medicinal Plants’
“we would like to say a few words about the difficulties facing those trying to determine wormwood plants. The flower heads are tiny, the flowers they contain even smaller and the characters considered important by botanists, like whetehr the flowers are hermaphroditic or unisexual, are difficult to check in the field. Thus regarding he flowering parts, the wormwoods look relatively similar – at least the differences are difficult to see. In contrast, the vegetative parts, particularly the often very elegant cut of the leaves and their odour, are very striking. Unfortunately, such features are difficult to describe in words and often greatly variable within a single species. The variability is often not only caused genetically but also influenced by environmental factors , not only climatic but also zoogenic or anthropogenic ones, such as grazing by animals or cutting by humans. Under the latter impact, wormwoods form heavily branched, stunted individuals with aberrant leaf forms, which might even lead to the description of one or the other “new species”. As Podlech points out, wormwoods can only be truly understood if they are studied in the field over an entire vegetation period. Herbarium material particularly of a particular sub-genus, usually comprises either unidentifiable vegetative plants from early collections or late-flowering and fruiting plants which have already lost their basal leaves….. Misidentifications – even by specialists – are not rare in herbaria…… The annual species only form a small minority within the genus, but as colonising plants they are quite common around settlements, nomad camps, livestock trails and cultivated areas”
And thus are likely to be disproportionately collected/noticed. In the 19th Century the earliest explorers in the Himalaya (from 1830 onwards in the NW) obviously followed the trails of the day (not necessarily the current road routes of today) and nowadays with vehicular transport available a disproportionate number of ‘road-side’ plants (perhaps ‘weeds’) are photographed or collected. A majority of botanical exploration since Indian Independence has consisted of collection at the ‘road-side’ with little venturing or scrambling about far from the main routes or undertaking of treks to less-visited locations.
Kletter & Kriechbaum went on to say, “The genus Artemisia in Central Asia and the Himalaya still has not been sufficiently investigated”.
They went on to make useful suggestions of groups of species based upon their ecology from those dominant in relatively undisturbed high-altitude steppe and semi-desert, through species dominating overgrazed areas because of their unpalatability, through perennials with colonising abilities along paths & roads, on abandoned fields or in wasteland around settlements to short-lived plants colonising frequently disturbed soil in & around settlements and on cultivated land.
Thank you very much. Actually, in that circumstances I could not get the clear and detail pictures all parts of the plant which is causing difficulty in properly identifying.