Images by G.S.Goraya (ID by Gurcharan Singh)

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Request identification of this Codonopsis species…. Photograph is actually from near Drass in J&K (25 June 2014) ….


Codonopsis clematidea I hope.


Thanks Sir for the lead.  
I’ll check with the given lead as soon as I am at my headquarters with access to literature..


 
 

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Request for ID 09092014 – NS – 03 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3).
Last ID request for the day
Date/Time- August 2014
Location- Place, Altitude, GPS- Spiti Valley, 4500-4800m ASL
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- Wild, Scrub, some grass, no trees
Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-  Shrub
Height/Length- 1- 1.5ft


Looks like a Codonopsis (Campanulaceae) species.


Just to mention. I could not figure if these were dried up flowers or they are normally like this only


The flowers have gone over.  The species of Codonopsis one would expect in Indian Trans-Himalayan districts/borderlands of W.Tibet is C.clematidea which is common in Ladakh & Lahoul.  The elliptic, typically recurved calyx lobes are distinctive, so definitely is C.clematidea.  C.ovata is common in Kashmir and it is also known from the Rohtang Pass in HP (so the range given for this species in ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ is incorrect) but as far as I know, is not found in Ladakh (though there is always a possibility of typically Kashmir species just occurring in the moister parts of Ladakh such as Suru Valley – I have e.g. seen Rhododendron anthopogon on the Pensi La which separates Zanskar from Suru.  There has been much confusion between C.clematidea and C.ovata.  The most up-to-date checklist for Ladakh does not include C.ovata.  As for C.obtusa, there is much confusion about this as well.  It is known to occur in Chitral & Kurram but records from other districts are questionable.  Though with so much confusion one cannot be certain about records/distribution of any of the Codonopsis in this region.  As with all things in botany (and all science) the best one can ever say is “to the best of our current knowledge


 

 

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Campanulaceae & Gentianaceae Fortnight: Codonopsis ID_kashmir : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2).
Kindly help in ID of Codonopsis species from Gurez, Kashmir


Though not showing close-up detail, this is Codonopsis clematidea


 

I have seen the confusion between Codonopsis clematidea and C.ovata (and indeed with other genera in the Campanulaceae family) on eFI plus know of misidentifications of this genus in other places (I am sceptical of identifications of some Codonopsis in Indian floras).
So consider it will be helpful to draw attention to some good images of C.clematidea taken in Baltistan by Marijin:
also see 2 preceding images. 
The show marking down the throat superficially like a passion-flower and large, reflexed calyx lobes. 
Please note the description in eFlora of Pakistan see: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200022896
is incorrect in some aspects. This species, as you can seed from the images in Baltistan does not have a trilobed stigma – there is also no mention of the reflexed elliptic calyx lobes (which ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ does correctly mention). 
There has been confusion with C.obtusa as well – which I plan to  post about and C.ovata which I have photographed in Kashmir. A COMBINATION OF THESE IMAGES will go a long way to TRANSFORM understanding of the non-climbing members of the genus in the Himalaya. 
May I request that anyone photographing Codonopsis (or what they think might be) MUST take quality, in focus close-ups of the interior of the corolla and calyces.
My understanding of this genus has been helped by the efforts and web-site of the UK PLANT HERITAGE National Collection for Codonopsis (previously the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens), see:  http://www.codonopsisplants.co.uk/
But it is now going to be increasingly difficult to impossible for such charities to gain access to the seed of wild plants from around the world incl. the Himalaya due to new rules & restrictions which have come into force such as the Nagoya Protocol – far from protecting plants this will DAMAGE their conservation. If you wish to read more about the EVIDENCE I have for this, consult my web-site.
The couple who maintain this National Collection and the informative web-site (with some high quality images) comment about the numerous times they obtained seed or plants CLAIMING TO BE/LABELLED as Codonopsis ovata which turned out to be Codonopsis clematidea. This comes as no surprise to me, as I have grown plants in the Kohli Memorial Botanical Garden from supposedly C.ovata which turned out to be C.clemtaideaThe latter is widespread in cultivation and fairly straightforward to grow.
To be fair to gardeners and nurserymen (and women) growing Codonopsis, if botanists struggle to separate the two species (and whether a plant is a Campanula or a Codonopsis) with few IF ANY reliable reference works, then it is hardly surprising they get muddled up in cultivation.
Unless one can gain access to seed directly from the wild or of known wild provenance of recent introduction into cultivation such National Collections of genera in cultivation cannot possibly do what has been done with the Codonopsis collection (and website) – which represents a better understanding of species of this genus than any check-list or flora compiled by Indian botanists….
The Indian botanical establishment SHOULD welcome and embrace the contributions of those with a special interest (and at times considerable expertise in genera found in India) whether it be Codonopsis, Primula, Geranium and many others.
UNLESS PLANTS ARE RELIABLY IDENTIFIED IN THE WILD AND THEIR GENUINE ABUNDANCE OR RARITY ASCERTAINED CORRECTLY – WHICH CANNOT BE DISCOVERED IN AN OFFICE OR HERBARIUM ALONE – IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO BE CONSERVED.  A SIGNFICANT PROPORTION OF PLANTS CLAIMED TO BE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED IN THE INDIAN HIMALAYA ARE NO SUCH THING.
This situation needs to be ADDRESSED, not DENIED.
What about the wild species which are GENUINELY rare?   Who really knows.   They have been abandoned to their fate.
Do I have EVIDENCE to support my CLAIMS.   Yes.
Part II covering Codonopsis obtusa to follow.


 

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Fwd: Codonopsis clematidea Part I : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (4)

Oops! I neglected to attach some images of Codonopsis clematidea
scanned in from slides taken in the 1980s in the wild and cultivation. 
Nos 1 & 2 taken by me in Kohli Memorial Botanical Garden, UK
3 & 4 in Ladakh on my behalf.


I have come across a photo taken during a tour on behalf of the UK Alpine Garden Society:
This shows what I understand to be Codonopsis clematidea photographed in Himachal Pradesh.
The reflexed sepals and markings in interior of the corolla match OK but interesting in the flower top right the stigma has started to divide into 4…..
I had drawn attention to the tri-lobed stigma in Codonopsis obtusa.

 

I draw attention to this and other preceding images and a following of what I consider to be Codonopsis obtusa taken in Baltistan:
Marijin’s close-ups of the interior of the corolla are invaluable in helping separate this species from Codonopsis clematidea.
Also so the entry in the UK Plant Heritage site for Codonopsis:
Compare with my postings about Codonopsis clematidea.
So what do we know of Codonopsis obtusa (Chipp) Nannf.?  It was previously considered to be a variety of Codonopsis ovata.
Stewart knew it from Kurram and Chitral @ 2650-3300m. Though no records for Baltistan or Ladakh.
Nasir in Campanulaceae for Flora of Pakistan covers C.obtusa.  He adds a record from Dir, giving a distribution of Turkestan and Afghanistan.  Apparently a full discussion on the variation pattern of this species is given in Flora Iranica (which I cannot readily access).
The features he uses to distinguish between C.obtusa and C.clematidea are inadequate and in parts, incorrect. It is entirely possible some of the specimens he examined named as C.clematidea were in fact, C.obtusa. Though I would not expect C.obtusa to be found in the Kashmir Valley but botanists and photographers should look out for it in Ladakh
There are records of C.ovata for Ladakh but these are probably misidentifications for C.clematidea (Dickore & Klimes ONLY list C.clematidea in Ladakh) though one should now check for C.obtusa, using the characteristics shown in this posting.
I seem to recollect a record for C.obtusa in Ladakh but cannot find it at present.
If it can grow in Baltistan then why not Ladakh.  Given that Indian botanists have struggled to distinguish between C.clematidea, C.ovata and C.obtusa, when re-examined or fresh specimens are collected, the CORRECT distribution of these 3 species may be resolved.
Note the trilobed stigma (in correct C.clematidea it is entire) plus more open shape of the flowers – not ‘bell-shaped’ as in C.clematidea.  Plus the markings in the throat are different. Unfortunately, the photos do not show the calyces well – one shot suggests they end up being reflexed as in C.clematidea with the lobes being markedly different to C.ovata.
I do not have any images myself of C.obtusa. As far as I know, I have never come across the plant in the wild or cultivation for that matter.
PLEASE NOTE THAT QUALITY DIGITAL CLOSE-UPS, IN GOOD FOCUS, ARE IN SOME RESPECTS SUPERIOR TO EVEN QUALITY PRESSED SPECIMENS, REVEALING DETAILS NOT AVAILABLE TO HERABIUM TAXONOMISTS.
I HAVE LONG TRIED TO EXPLAIN THE BENEFITS OF PLANTS TAXONOMIST BEING ABLE TO EXAMINE FRESH, LIVING SPECIMENS, IN ADDITIONAL TO DRIED PRESSED ONES.
THE NEW RULES & REGULATIONS INCL. THE NAGOYA PROTOCOL WILL MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO IMPOSSIBLE FOR SPECIALIST SOCIETIES, PLANT CHARITIES AND INDIVIDUAL GROWERS TO GAIN ACCESS TO SPECIES FROM THE WILD INCL. THE HIMALAYA.  THIS WILL DAMAGE PLANT CONSERVATION AND DO NOTHING TO HELP PROTECT GENUINELY ‘RARE’ SPECIES…..
That leaves Part III – Codonopsis ovata.  I shall wait a while before ‘sharing’ my images and information about this.
Leaving all the above aside, this posting, combined with my one on C.clematidea is ANOTHER example of just what eFI can do to IMPROVE UPON and CORRECT existing knowledge and understanding of Indian flora through quality close-up digital images.  
So much potential.
And wonderfully, the EVIDENCE is there for ALL to see!!!


Thanks, …, for interesting insights though both WCSP & Catalogue of Life consider Codonopsis obtusa (Chipp) Nannf. as a synonym for Codonopsis clematidea (Schrenk) C.B.Clarke


This may well be the case but it is clear to me that some of the images of a Codonopsis taken in Baltistan represent a separate taxon. 
Whether this constitutes a variety or subspecies of C.clematidea or a separate species, is for others to decide.
I wonder if they have this photographic evidence to-hand (cf. just dried pressed specimens). 
Need MORE evidence.

 

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Fwd: Codonopsis clematidea in cultivation : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (2)
Images of what I understand to be Codonopsis clematidea cultivated in a garden in Portland, Oregon.
This species is the commonest of the non-climbing Codonopsis in cultivation. It is the most straightforward to grow.
The images show the internal markings which are quite unlike those of C.ovata, along with large, reflexed sepals.
MANY Codonopsis in cultivation which are labelled as less common species, frequently turn out to be C.clematidea


today’s UBC photo of the day is about Codonopsis and in its write up FOI link Daniel mentions FOI and has given a link to it 
so nice to see that. 
Congratulations.


 

  
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