Astragalus frigidus (L.) A.Gray (Syn: Astragalus frigidus subsp. frigidus ; Astragalus frigidus subsp. grigorjewii (B.Fedtsch.) Chater; Astragalus kolaensis Kuzen.; Phaca frigida L.; Phaca ochreata Crantz);
Austria, Slovakia, Faroer Isl., France, S-Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Norway,
Poland, Romania, N-European Russia, Sweden, Siberia (Buryatia, Chita, Irkutsk,
Yakutia), Kazakhstan, Russian Far East (Magadan), China (Xinjiang, Sichuan,
Yunnan), India, Nepal, Pakistan (Chitral), Pakistani Kashmir (Gilgit, Baltistan,
Astor), Jammu & Kashmir (Zanskar, Suru), Mongolia, Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu) as per Catalogue of Life;
Fwd: Astragalus frigidus in Lahaul – new to eFI : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (4)
4 images taken by the Late Krishan Lal in August 2014 at Bharatpur, Lahaul, H.P.
This location is close to the border with Ladakh on the Sarchu Plain of Rupshu district. It is reached after crossing the Baralacha La from the ‘Lahaul’ side.
As with recent posting of A.amherstianus, I understand these images were determined by an Astragalus specialist. But I am not currently in a position to verify this name.
Flowers of Himalaya describes this but there is no illustration; there is a photo in the Supplement to Flowers of the Himalaya – once again, I urge more members to purchase a copy; it was printed in India. Unfortunately, the image in the Supplement does not show a close-up of the flowers.
Recorded from open slopes @ 2700-4300m from Pakistan to Central Nepal & Temperate Northern Hemisphere.
Stewart records this from N.Pakistan to Kashmir and Ladakh, particularly Suru and Zanskar @ 3000-4200m.
Surprisingly, despite listing 30 species of Astragalus in Ladakh, Dickore & Klimes do not include A.frigidus.
Either a major omission (or perhaps they just had not seen any specimens) or they consider specimens previously considered to be this species, to have been misidentified. Given the large size and difficulties with this genus, it would come as no surprise, if that proved to be the case – though Krishan’s images suggest a distinctive species.
This species was collected by my team during the University of Southampton Ladakh Expedition in 1980 (with a specimen deposited in the University of Kashmir herbarium). It was named at Kew – though this does not ELIMINATE the scenario mentioned in the paragraph above. From Rangdum @ 4310m on mountain slope amongst Salix and grasses; earthy-loam; to 55cm, deep root; yellow flowers with white edges to petals, calyx pale green; prominent stipules.
Pity stipules cannot be seen in Krishan’s photos (nice though they are) nor close-up of leaves. Goes to show even 4 good photos are NOT sufficient to show all the necessary characteristics.
The authors of ‘Flora of Lahaul-Spiti’ did not come across this species nor were any specimens known in Indian herbaria – though Rau did claim to have seen it.