China (Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan), Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, Chumbi,
India (Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh)
as per Catalogue of Life;

Stems hollow,2-30cm exposed;scale leaves few or absent.Leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate or linear,4-13 x 0.3-3.5cm,shallowly pinnatifid to deeply pinnatisect,at least when well developed (when length of blade is more than 4 x width, when shorter sometimes simple, dentate),long attenuate at base;lobes entire ( rarely with 1 broad and 2 minute teeth); petiole 0-6cm.Inflorescence convex or elongate (to 16cm). Bracts usually densely hirsute at least at base.Involucre 2-3mm diameter;inner phyllaries 8-12.5mm,hirsute (very rarely subglabrous),innermost 2.6-4mm wide.Corolla 12-18mm;tube 3-6.5mm;ligule yellow,7-12mm,with small regular teeth.Anthers dark(very rarely yellowish with whole flower lacking cyanic pigments).Pappus white,sooty or stramineous, usually with bluish tips,6.5-13mm.

Fl. July – September
Among boulders and on screes.
(Attributions- A.J.C Grierson & D.G.Long. Flora of Bhutan. Published by RGoB and RBGE. 2001. from Bhutan Biodiversity Portal)                

Soroseris hookeriana (C.B.Clarke) Stebbins (Asteraceae) is a rare species in Uttarakhand and collected 3-4 times only. Rarity of the species is compounded by the fact that it occurs above 4500m elevation, the area less frequently botanized by plant collectors.
In eFI we have only one entry in the form of an image of a herbarium specimen (collected from Bhutan) contributed by … This image of live specimens is new for eFI.
The plant was photographed by Dr Satish Chandra Semwal in our recent visit to Ralam- Barjikang Pass (4650m) in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. J.F.Duthie also collected this species on 16.8.1900 from this place or adjacent areas (he mentioned Ralam valley).



Fwd: Soroseris hookeriana – a NEW genus for eFI?? : 12 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)

I do not know which tribe Soroseris belongs to, so may have missed this genus amongst the listings for Asteraceae on eFI- repeat that I find the sub-division of Asteraceae (large though the family is) into tribes does not help me.
I have always operated primarily with GENERA.  When I come across a plant in the UK or the Himalaya that I do not immediately recognise which SPECIES it belongs to, I start thinking which genus?  Failing that, which family?  I do not think in terms of tribes.  I have found very few people think in terms of families and almost none of tribes.
In the past, both floras and guides (such as Flowers of the Himalaya) were arranged ‘Systematically’ by supposedly related families.  I NEVER found this helpful, so rapidly adopted a ALPHABETICAL approach, which I encourage (although as one can see on eFI) there have been many name changes of families in recent decades.  Nowadays in the UK, very few people learn about plant families or even if they know lots of them, think in terms of which other families are closely-related.
Regardless of whether the genus or species is new to eFI, I doubt if there will have been many postings – as like, Fritillaria delavayii, which I have just posted about, this species is another ‘high’ alpine.   Not many botanists or other members of this group from India have reached such elevations particularly if major treks are required.
The image below was scanned in from a slide taken in the early 1990s when I was working as a consultant to The Royal Government of Bhutan.  The pressed specimen was collected for the mini-herbarium at the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Thimphu on stony slopes at some 4400m on Yak La, Lingshi district in July 1990.
Soroseris hookeriana is illustrated in ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ recorded on stony slopes & screes in drier areas from Himachal Pradesh to SE Tibet @ 4300-5500m.  Is this known from Uttarakhand, I wonder?
Flora of Bhutan records this from among boulders and on screes @ 3650-4720m in Sikkim, Chumbi and Bhutan.
Populations in NE Bhutan and the Sikkim/ Chumbi border do not fit well within this species, seeming to be intermediate between this species and S.hirsuta.
This flora also records S.erysimoides from Bhutan & Chumbi on screes @ 4-4600m.  The authors observe that few populations correspond well with this species. Some appear close to S.hookeriana.
Such taxonomic uncertainty is beyond the scope of eFI plus I do not envisage too many formal botanical expeditions exploring much in these regions in the coming years and even if they do, it is unlikely that any images will be shared with this site. So we need not concern ourselves too much with these matters, except to be aware that even the world’s leading taxonomists at the top institutions find it difficult to be certain as to which species some specimens belong to.

Thanks a lot, …
I do not find any single match in efi site for Soroseris on searching (google like search). 
Regarding your first few paras, pl. see A experiment with Asteraceae
It has been very helpful to me in pointing out correct identifications to the user queries in efi group discussions.

Soroseris genus (Asteraceae, Cichorieae) is represented by two species in Uttarakhand:
1. S. gillii (S.Moore) Stebbins
2. S. glomerata (Decne.) Stebbins
Both are known from Gangotri National Park in Uttarakhand and mentioned as rare (Pusalkar & Singh 2012).

However, S. hookeriana is not known in Uttarakhand yet.

I must express doubts/ question marks as to the Soroseris records by Pusalkar & Singh.
In Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal (Vol III, 1982) the authors state that S.gillii (S.Moore) Stebb. subsp. occidentalis was recorded from Garwhal to Nepal & Tibet.
They observed that the leaves of two specimens recorded varied from being almost entire to shallowly pinnatifid.  A specimen from the 1952 Polunin, Sykes & Williams expedition to Nepal was determined as S.hookeriana near subsp. erysimoides, the distinctions between S.hookeriana  and S.gillii were not clear, as Stebbins noted in 1940 and FURTHER STUDY WAS REQUIRED TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE DIFFERENCES WERE SUFFICIENT TO SEPARATE THEM AS SPECIES.
S.glomerata (Decne.) Stebb. was recorded from Almora, Garwhal, Nepal & Tibet.
As it was only known from 4600-4800m in Nepal the record from Almora seems extraordinary to me!
As for ‘Flora of Bhutan’ Vol 2 Part 3 (2001) which covered Asteraceae, specimens from border districts were only doubtfully included within S.hookeriana, appearing intermediate with S.hirsuta (Anthony) Shih [S.gillii (S.Moore) Stebbins subsp. hirsuta].
As for The Plant List, this has S.gillii relegated to a synonym of S.hookeriana!
This suggests to me that Soroseris is a difficult genus. Would Pulsakar & Singh have consulted Internationally?
Further study of this genus is SURELY required.  IF voucher duplicate pressed specimens  are not sent from India to specialists abroad, how can the authors of floras in India have full confidence with their ‘determinations’?

I agree that identification may be doubtful in many cases when no clear understanding of the species is there.
Soroseris gillii (S.Moore) Stebins was described based on the specimen collected from Gangotri area by Keshavanand in 1897. Holotype is at Kew and Isotype is at Dehradun (DD) and I believe authors must have compared their specimens collected from same area of Gangotri (Kedar Kharak, 4150-4300m) with easily accessible isotype at DD.
Inclusion of S. glomerata (Decne.) Stebbins in Flora of Gangotri National Park is based on the Stebbins (1940) who have mentioned the probable distribution in Jad Ganga valley (4000-5400m) of this park.
Until some revision study the identification based on comparison with type specimens should be considered closest in my opinion and therefore may not always require validation by expert to whom specimens can not be sent.

My compliments on a constructive and thoughtful response re: Soroseris.
I do urge greater collaboration internationally and nationally.  This requires encouragement at senior levels.
I also recommend, whether in published printed floras or efI data-base that ‘difficult’ genera are drawn attention to.  MOST people consulting such floras or efI may be completely unaware that many genera are challenging to identify – and so even more reason to take many more good quality close-up images of floral parts, foliage and fruit (where present) i.e. posting say 10-12 images rather than just 1 or 2 general shots.
At my lectures in the UK I often speak briefly about PLANT IDENTIFICATION, saying when I cannot be certain as to which species the plant I am showing an image of belongs to, that this is NOT a sign of lack of competence on my part but expertise. I am aware of the limitations of
my knowledge and how difficult (or not) some genera are to name to species level.
I seldom come across, whether in printed floras or guides or on-line, any indication that an identification should be viewed as PROVISIONAL only.
In the UK, I frequently encounter people who THINK identifying plants is (or should be) a QUICK and EASY process.  This is a FALSE assumption.
Also during my lectures in the UK, I state that those who, apparently, can identify every plant they come across, whether in a garden or the wild, with consummate ease, do not, know as much as they may think they do! 

Re: your experiment with Asteraceae. Sorry, this still does not help me. Having said that, I am clearly ATYPICAL, so what suits me is not necessarily the best for others.  IF how you have arranged things helps the majority of those using eFI then this would make it worthwhile. 

Thanks, … Here are details from BSI flora of India (Volume 13- 1995):

I think it will be informative if I comment on the entries for SOROSERIS on BSI’s efloraindia
Without looking into the genus in detail, I cannot judge if the descriptions are correct or the keys valid.  However, I can compare the other information with the references I have to-hand.
S.deasyi (which The Plant List has as a synonym of Soroseris glomerata)
I consider the distribution given as not only imprecise but missing known distributions.
Yes, this species is found in Jammu & Kashmir but one needs to differentiate between occurrence in the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. It is found in both.
According to ‘Flora of Lahaul-Spiti’ this species is found there, so why is H.P., not included in its distribution? 
Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal lists this species.  Why is Nepal not included in its distribution?
The above Enumeration also gives Almora, Garwhal and Tibet in its distribution.
Why are these missing from the BSI account of this species?
The altitudinal range of 4-5000m matches that given by Stewart (which covers Pakistan and Kashmir only).  I presume it is taken solely from this.
As for habitat, the “rocky & gravelly slopes” description is satisfactory but “roadsides” is not.
Stewart describes this as a, “gravel slide plant of the moraine zone”.  This species would only be found by a ‘roadside’ if the ‘road’ just happens to run through the natural habitat of this species.

Thanks, … I have been following different efloras over time. Sometimes, each one talks of something different.
So here the question is which one to think correctly- Annotated Checklist of the Flowering Plants of Nepal, Flora of China or Flora of Pakistan or BSI Flora of India- naturally everybody is not correct. Only one of them can be correct. Same is the case with other litratures & books.
Same is the situation with the databases like The Plant List, GRIN or Catalogue of Life- we follow one of them, but that does not mean that we are following the correct list.
We take some decision in the matter – but it is only subjective. Different persons may think differently. So to say that this is correct or incorrect is also subjective only- depending on the knowledge of the person concerned.
I find things keep on changing including the species – sometimes they are bunched together, at other times they are separated. So in such circumstances to say who is correct or who is incorrect, is also subjective.


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