Panax pseudoginseng Wall., Trans. Med. Soc. Calcutta 4: 117 1829. (syn: Aralia pseudoginseng (Wall.) Benth. ex C.B.Clarke; Aralia quinquefolia var. pseudoginseng (Wall.) Burkill; Panax pseudoginseng var. pseudoginseng ; Panax schin-seng T.Nees [Illegitimate]; Panax schin-seng var. nepalensis T.Nees);
Common name: Himalayan Ginseng, Nepal Ginseng • Nepali: मङान Mangan, नदार Nadar
Fwd: Himalayan Ginseng (Panax pseudo-ginseng) at fruting stage in Eastern Himalaya : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
I attach 2 images scanned in from slides taken by P.Curzon in Eastern Nepal of Himalayan Ginseng in fruit.
Flowers of Himalaya record P.pseudo-ginseng Wall. from forests & shrubberies @ 2100-4300m from Central Nepal to SW China and Myanamar.
They mention nothing of it being rare – indeed it is unlikely to have been included in their guide had it been so. There is a line drawing. Nothing said of variants.
Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal has subspecies pseudo-ginseng, which is apparently confined to Nepal, subspecies himalaicus which is further
divided into var. himalaicus, var. angustifolius & var. bipinnatifidus.
Flora of Bhutan (Vol. 2 Part I, 1991) which covers Araliaceae records the species in coniferous forest in Darjeeling, Sikkim, Chumbi & Bhutan @ 1500-3650m.
The authors describe this as an important species in traditional medicine. The typical subspecies pseudo-ginseng with short rhizomes & carrot-like roots has not been recorded from Bhutan or Sikkim.
Whereas the variant found in Bhutan & Sikkim have long creeping nodular rhizomes, segregated as subsp. himalaicus Hara.
This has been further subdivided into: var. bipinnatifidus (Seemann) Li with pinnatifid leaflets with sharply incised lobes; and var. angustifolius (Burkill) Li – the latter is widespread in Bhutan, Darjeeling and Sikkim. One of these varieties was considered a superior for, one the inferior form, in Bhutanese Medicine.
I know this medicinal plant from my time as a consultant to The Royal Government of Bhutan in the 1990s. I saw it growing in forest in Central Bhutan. Cultivation trials were already underway when I first visited Bhutan.
Panax pseudo-ginseng Wall. (Araliaceae) has its distribution extended up to Kumaon (eastern region of Uttarakhand; Garhwal being western region). I have seen it in Sunderdhunga valley between (about) 2000-2500m in forest. Based on this sighting it appeared rare in Uttarakhand, may be also due to its westernmost limit here.
Interesting to hear of an extension to the range of this species.
Yes, it could well be rare in Kumaon. Almost all species have a geographic and altitudinal range, sometimes climatic.
At some point a species will reach its limit and thus be rare regardless of any ‘damage’ caused by man. Care should be taken, when assessing overall rarity (or abundance) when surveying at such limits, as restricted occurrence in such districts is not necessarily representative of the species in the whole of its range.
Species that are typically forest or forest clearing dwellers in higher rainfall regions of the Himalaya such as Sinopodophyllum hexandum (syn. Podophyllum hexandrum) are also found in the TransHimalaya e.g. in Lahaul and Ladakh (in the latter case it is found in the Suru Valley, which has higher rainfall than other parts of this area). It is somewhat uncommon here but as far as I know, never found in the main Upper Indus Valley near Leh). At some point in its range it is ‘Rare’ but to therefore classify the species as a whole as ‘Rare’ let alone ‘Endangered’ is to misunderstand plant ecology/geography.
It is helpful to have reference images (as good a possible) of as many species in the eFI data-base. Hopefully, this will help with them being noticed elsewhere (potentially extending ranges) helping obtaining a clearer picture of distribution than is possible from herbarium specimens alone (which can easily be a century or more old).
The photographers amongst this group can also take new, ideally better images (showing both floral and foliage) rather than relying upon scanned in images of slides from decades ago – or images of pressed, herbarium specimens.
The more detail which can been seen, the better we can understand Indian flora – whether in the Himalaya, which is my speciality or in other regions of India.
UP-Meghalay-12 Id pl : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Is it Pantapanax castanopsisicola–Araliaceae ? id pl.
Thais may be some species of Panax ! (May be P. ginseng or P. pseudo-ginseng)
Great Finding of this CITES Appendix II plant.