Common name: Moorcroft’s Columbine
Widely distributed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Himalaya, as far as Tibet; more common in the eastern part of the area (as per Flora of Pakistan)

As per efi thread ((Based on Flora of India vol-1)):
If plant is pubescent or glandular, sepals obtuse ……. A. fragrans (Sepals 20-30 x 9-12 mm, whitish to purple, slightly pubescent, obtuse to acute as per Flora of Pakistan)
If plant is glaucous, sepals ovate acute ……. A. moorcroftiana (Sepals pale-purplish to blue-purple, 13-18 x 6-8 mm, acute or obtuse as per Flora of Pakistan)

Aquilegia moorcroftiana at Ladakh – July- PKA-02 : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5)
Aquilegia moorcroftiana (Family: Ranunculaceaeat Nubra Valley, Ladakh.

Thanks, …, for a new species at efi.


Ladakh Plants-ID Request3 – 20Jun09:SJ : 13 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (4)
Found this growing near streams, natural nallahs in Alchi and Suru Valley – both western Ladakh – at least west of Leh. Is this a Columbine sp?
Would be grateful for your help with the ID.

You are right, …, its Aquilegia sp.

Thanks, … It appears to be Aquilegia pubiflora (Himalayan Columbine, Hairy-flowered Columbine) as per Concise Flowers of the Himalaya & as per links:

Looks like Aquilegia fragrans

Will you reconsider your suggested Id after going the links etc. as below?:
I have earlier suggested as below:
“It appears to be Aquilegia pubiflora (Himalayan Columbine, Hairy-flowered Columbine) as per Concise Flowers of the Himalaya & as per links:
http://www.flowersofindia.net/ (FOI),
Links for Aquilegia fragrans:
As per Concise flowers of the Himalaya Aquilegia fragrans flowers are white or cream. Spurs of the posted flowers are also different from those as given at the links for Aquilegia fragrans”

Aquilegia pubiflora (Himalayan Columbine) has spurs which are shorter

than the blade of the inner petals – see the attached picture.
Aquilegia fragrans has spurs longer than the inner petal blade, as is
also seen in … picture.
True, the color doesn’t agree very well with that mentioned in
Flowers of the Himalaya, but I won’t bet my money on it. As there are
not many species in the Himalayas to choose from, I feel it could be
Aquilegia fragrans. Attachments (1)

Thanks, …, for the feedback.
But I still feel otherwise as below:
Aquilegia pubiflora (Himalayan Columbine) has spurs which are shorter than the blade of the inner petals.
Aquilegia fragrans has spurs longer than the inner petal blade, as not seen in in Sushmita’s picture.
See the spurs of Aquilegia fragrans at http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/, which are different from the posted flower. Even construction of spurs in posted flowers is same as that of Aquilegia pubiflora besides the colour.

Thank you … for your suggestions.
Having visited the sites forwarded, my Aquilegia does look more like fragrans from the little I could observe. Coments from other experts are welcome.

I think it is Aquilegia moorcroftiana Wallich ex Royle

I favour Aquilegia moorcroftiana suggested by Dr Erst.  Only A.moorcroftiana and A.fragrans have been recorded from Ladakh. A.pubiflora tends to be restricted to the outer ranges of the Himalaya.  Aquilegia is not always an easy genus identification-wise.  There are forms of Aquilegia I have seen in Ladakh that I find difficult to place with certainty between A.fragrans and A.moorcroftianaAquilegias hybridise readily in cultivation. Perhaps this is a factor in Ladakh?  More likely just a good deal of variation. May help if the genus undergoes a revision for Himalayan species

Aquilegia from Paddar valley Kishtwar J&K.: 6 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1)
Can this plant be Aquilegia pubiflora
Family: Ranunculaceae
Date: 16th July 2011
Place: Paddar valley J&K.
Altitude: 2915 meters asl
Plant height: 25-50 cms
Habit/habitat: Wild herb

The plant is native to Europe but presence of its herbarium in IIIM Jammu means its presence in J&K also. Sir kindly suggest me the possibilities and have a look on the below links

I think it is Aquilegia moorcroftiana Wallich ex Royle

This is definitely not A.pubiflora nor A.nivalis.  That leaves a choice between A.moorcroftiana and A.fragrans, as these are the only 4 species recorded from the region.  It is a rather weedy specimen.  I think it does fit within what I understand to be A.moorcroftiana and not A.fragrans, so support Dr Erst’s identification but am not fully happy with present understanding of the genus in the Himalaya

Fwd: Aquilegia moorcroftiana in Rupshu, Ladakh : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (2)
Here with a couple of images of A.moorcroftiana taken by the
Late Krishan Lal at Sarchu, Rupshu, 4200m, Ladakh.
I think this comes within this species and not A.fragrans – the only other species of this genus recorded for Ladakh.
I have a number of images of what I consider to be this species and associated information, which I plan to post at some point.
There has been a good deal of confusion between 3 of the 4 species of columbines recorded from NW Himalaya – as exemplified by postings on eFI.
I have images of A.fragrans & A.nivalis as well.  When I have posted what images & notes available to me, the situation should be clarified.
In cultivation Aquilegias readily hybridise. I wonder if that ever happens in the wild?
I find it difficult to distinguish between some forms of A.fragrans/ A.moorcroftiana.


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