Salix obscura Andersson, Prodr. 16(2): 269 269 1868.;
S-Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal as per Catalogue of life;
My Flora Picture of the year 2013 : Attachments (3). 9 posts by 7 authors.
Salix obscura Andersson (Salicaceae)
The species is rediscovered from its type locality after a long gap of 121 years. I collected this specimen from Lachen valley of Sikkim Himalaya during the revisionary study of Indian Salicaceae in May, 2006 and in April, 2008. This species was first collected by Sir J. D. Hooker from Lachen on June 3, 1849 and based on his specimen the first description of Salix obscura was made by N.J. Andersson in 1868. Next collection of this species from the same locality was made by RobertPantling in May, 1885 and was kept in CAL. Thorough scrutiny of herbarium sheets housed in different Indian herbaria including CAL, BSHC, APFH, ASSAM, NEHU, DD, BSD, LWG, RRLH, KASH, BSA, MH, BSI etc. it has become apparent that after Pantling, no further collection of this species was made from its type locality. This Sino-Himalayan species is recorded in India only from North Sikkim. No specimens have been traced from other adjacent state like West Bengal (Darjeeling Himalaya) or Arunachal Pradesh. One of our papers has been published on this topic in Pleione (http://www.ehsst.org/20%20Sukla%20Chanda_Final.pdf). Its living photographs are very rare in the web. One of my Rapid Colour Guide shows two photographs of S. obscura (http://fm2.fieldmuseum.org/plantguides/guide_pdfs/528%20Saliacaceae-Himalaya-India%20b1.pdf)
Although the species shows a restricted occurrence but fortunately this species is not threatened. The main reason for its good number in those areas (on way to Lachen from Chungthang, Lachen and toward Thangu from Lachen) of Sikkim is that local people used S. obscura for fencing and this species have a good response in vegetative propagation. Naturally this species is conserved in those areas. I visited three times in Lachen where always found good numbers either on the hill slopes or as fencing. Thanks to those native people who helped to conserve this species in their own way otherwise we have to rethink about this issue.
It is far more important to rediscover a species earlier known then hunting only for new taxa. My hearty appreciations to this rediscovery. What I feel in the context of Himalayan habitats is that the species rarely become extinct here due to inaccessibility of terrain though we often without making sincere efforts states that a species has become extinct. I have recently rediscovered a presumed extinct species, yet to be published.
Thank you for your efforts of plant exploration in arduous Himalayan terrain. And thanks for showing this species to us.
Interesting find and nice write-up! Thanks … for sharing this as well as the beautifully illustrated Rapid Color Guides!
Very nice photos accompanied with informative literature – many thanks Sukla ji for sharing the Flora picture of the year 2013.
Thanks, … for the beautiful presentation, write up & discussions- recalling old beautiful memories.
Salicaceae (including Flacourtiaceae) Fortnight: Salix obscura, from Lachen, Sikkim SC 26: 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4).
Salix obscura Andersson
This species has a very restricted distribution in India and confined only to North Sikkim.
In my Flora picture 2013, I have already posted some of its photographs.
The catkins are very compact and thick. Used as fencing by the villagers
Thanks … for this post too.. which becomes more significant seeing the restricted occurrence of this species…
Catalogue of life POWO The Plant List Ver.1.1 Tropicos Annotated checklist of Flowering plants of Nepal Flora of China FoC illustration Rediscovery of Salix obscura Andersson (Salicaceae) from its type locality of Sikkim Himalaya after a century Selected Salix and Populus species of Himalaya – The Field Museum India Biodiversity Portal