Himalayan Spurless Columbine
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Himalayan Spurless Columbine
ative Photo: Suresh Rana
Common name: Himalayan Spurless Columbine
Botanical name: Paraquilegia gangotriana    Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)
Synonyms: Paraquilegia microphylla sensu J.R.Drumm. & Hutch.

Himalayan Spurless Columbine is a very distinctive small plant growing in rock crevices, often forming large clumps. It sports delicate, somewhat pendulous white, blue or lilac flowers and rather glaucous ferny leaves. Flowers are borne singly, cup-shaped, 1.5-4.0 cm across, with ovate petals. Flowers are borne in slender leafless stems up to 18 cm long. Bracts are 2, linear-lanceshaped. Leaves grow all at the base, long-stalked, three-forked, with 9 leaflest. Leaflets are flabellate, rhomboid or obovate-wedge-shaped, 5-13 x 8-15 mm, 3-partite, deeply 3-sect, 3-toothed or 3-lobed; lobes entire or 2 3-lobuled; ultimate lobules linear-oblong, oblong-inverted-lanceshaped, oblong-obovate or obovate, 1.0-3.2 x 0.2-1.3 mm, hairless or glaucous. Himalayan Spurless Columbine is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Kashmir to Sikkim, China, Nepal, at altitudes of 2800-5400 m. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Suresh Rana, J.M. Garg Photographed in Paddar Valley, Jammu & Kashmir.

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