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Problems with Cultivation and Identification: Mystery Himalayan

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Started by: Susan Read

White flower so far unidentified 4800m Everest area August picture accidentally added to previous thread.

Go to latest contribution by Chris CHADWELL, 26 September 2018, 10:47. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Margaret Thorne 24 November 2009, 22:51top / bottom of page

Susan, I think your plant is Hypecoum leptocarpum, a member of the Papaveraceae usually found in dryer areas. Thank you for posting pictures of your latest Everest Trek.

Contribution from Susan Read 25 November 2009, 12:56top / bottom of page


Many thanks, I am pretty sure that is it. Google has 2 similar pics and lots of interesting stuff re medicine inc NIH work. I had looked through lists of plants in Poppy family without success! Hope the pic appears below. It was growing on lateral moraine at about 4800m.

Contribution from Margaret Thorne 26 November 2009, 10:05top / bottom of page

There is not unanimous agreement about the taxonomy of Hypecoum and it is sometimes described under a separate family, the Fumariaceae. Flora of China includes it in Papaveraceae, but has it in a separate sub-family, the Fumarioideae. It is genus 13 in the FOC Papaveraceae key.

Contribution from Susan Read 27 November 2009, 15:22top / bottom of page

Again many thanks...Re Flora of China, I am not sure about the number of petals but the 3-fold symmetry certainly fits

Contribution from Chris CHADWELL 26 September 2018, 10:47top / bottom of page
Hypecoum leptocarpum habitat + guides to Himalayan flora

Seems to fit, though one cannot see close-up detail. Observed during University of Southampton Ladakh Expedition 1980 - my first visit to the transHimalaya; 4000m, Rangdum, Suru Valley, beside barley field, dry, stony, silty, stems pinkish-red, pale pink pertals, green ridge at tip, yellow stamens. Stewart recorded it @ 4200-5400m from Chitral to Ladakh. Kumaon to Bhutan. A 'Tibetan borderland plant' also Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China & Monglia. Miehe recorded it in 'An Annotated list of the vascular plants collected in the valleys south of Mt Everest'. I am currently compiling a series of digital photographic guides to the flowers of the NW Himalaya (divided into Kashmir, Ladakh, Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh), in parts, starting with genera A&B. It would be most helpful if any members were willing to share with me any of their digital images or scanned in slides taken in the Himalaya, to build up my reference material and for possible inclusion - when available, several images will be used per species. Accurate & reliable identification of plants, whether in the wild or cultivation is essential if they are to be conserved. This is a way the AGS can contribute to a worthwhile project, improving knowledge of geographic & altitudinal distributions plus habitats. For further details see:

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