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Pimpinella L.
Mark F. Watson
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Biennial or perennial herbs from fusiform roots or a thickened tap-root. Leaves simple, ternate or 1–3-pinnate; petioles narrowly winged at base. Umbels compound, bracts few or absent, bracteoles linear sometimes absent. Calyx teeth obsolete (except P. sikkimensis). Petals ovate or oblong, acute, incurved at apex (except P. tongloensis). Stylopodium domed, styles spreading in fruit. Fruit ovoid or ellipsoid, slightly compressed laterally, mericarps somewhat obscurely 5-ribbed, ornamented with papillae or glabrous. 
Key to species
1 Leaves entire, ternate, biternate or simply pinnate 2
+ Leaves 2–3 x pinnately divided 5
2 Stems up to 45cm; leaves mostly basal and simple, densely pubescent, uppermost often pinnatiscect; bracteoles >4; fruit granular P. tibetanica
+ Stems usually >45cm; leaves mostly cauline and compound, moderately pubescent to almost glabrous, uppermost rarely pinnatisect; bracteoles usually <4; fruit papillate or smooth 3
3 Leaves glabrous excepting the main veins; petals acute, flat; fruits ovoid, attenuate to the apex, smooth  P. tongloensis
+ Leaves pubescent; petals with incurved apex; fruits papillate 4
4 Leaves mostly pinnate, margins creno-serrate; umbels <9-rayed, rays filiform P. urceolata
+ Leaves mostly ternate, margin serrate; umbels >(10-)15-rayed, rays stouter P. diversifolia
5 Ultimate leaf segments ovate-oblong, setulose-serrate P. sikkimensis
+ Ultimate leaf segments linear-lanceolate, entire or 3-fid P. wallichii

Pimpinella tibetanica H.Wolff

Vernacular Name: Gatig (Medicinal name). 

A small, little branched erect herb (6–)10–45cm tall; stem sparsely white pubescent below, denser above beneath the umbels; inflorescence branches denesly pubescent. Leaves dimorphic, mostly basal and simple, the lower cauline leaves ternate with similarly broad ovate leaflets, the uppermost leaves often pinnatisect into linear-oblong or oblong-triangular acute segments; leaflets of lower leaves 1.1–4.2 x 1–3.7cm, apex acute, base cordate to truncate, margin crenate, densely pubescent below slightly less so above; petioles 1.2–14cm, petiolules 0.1–1.5cm. Umbels mainly terminal, 3–5cm across, (8-)10–14-rayed; rays 13–23mm; bracts 1–5, linear, 6–16mm long; umbellules 6–8mm across, 10–18-flowered; pedicels 0.5–2.5mm; bracteoles 4–5, 2.5–4mm long, linear. Petals white or dark purple, c 1 x 0.5mm. Fruit c 1.7 x 1.5mm, ovoid-ellipsoid, densely covered in a granular minute papillae. 

Bhutan: C—Ha district (Tare La) and Thimphu district (Barshong, Paro Valley, Phajoding, Shodug, Taka La); N—Upper Mo Chu district (Laya), Upper Phu Chu district (Lunana), Upper Bumthang Chu district (Tsampa) and Upper Kulong Chu district (Pangte La).
Chumbi: Champitang, Chumbi, Rinchingong, Yak La, Yatung.
Sikkim: Tangkar La. 

Ecology: Open dry alpine turf, amongst shrubs, 3000–4100m. Flowers June–July(–August). 

Specimen List [11098]

Note: Many Bhutanese specimens have been missidentified as the southern Indian P. candolleana Wight & Arnott.

Pimpinella tongloensis P.K.Mukherjee
    Pimpinella diversifolia var. alpina C.B.Clarke
Erect plant (20-)40–60cm tall; stem often glabrous or sparsely pubescent with a line of white hairs; inflorescence branches densely strigose with white hairs. Leaves mainly trifoliate (basal and uppermost sometimes simple), leaflets 1–6 x 0.8–5cm, triangular-ovate, apex acute, margin serrate (to biserrate), base (obtuse to) truncate to cordate, usually glabrous but strigose on the main veins above (sometimes also below); petiole 1–8cm, glabrous or with a line of hairs, petiolules 0.1–2cm. Umbels 3.5–5cm across, (6-)8–12-rayed; rays 8–19mm, unequal; bracts 0–1, lanceolate to 5mm, early falling; umbellules c 7mm across, 8–18-flowered; pedicels 0.2–6mm, unequal; bracteoles 1–4, linear-lanceolate, 1.5–2.5mm. Petals 1–1.5 x 0.6mm, ovate-acute, flat, white. Anthers white to suffused purple. Fruit 1.8–2.2 x 1.5–1.75, ovoid, attenuate to the tip, smooth. 

Darjeeling: Labha, Rissisum, Tanglu. 

Ecology: Dry ares in mixed forests, 2500–2800m. Flowers August(–September). 

Specimen List [11478]

Pimpinella urceolata Watt ex Banerji emend. P.K.Mukherjee

Erect to ascending wiry perennial or biennial 45–100cm tall; stem slender, much branched, glabrous to moderately pubescent with white strigose hairs, inflorescence branches densely white pubescent. Leaves pinnate with 2–3 pairs of pinnae; leaflets of lower leaves ovate, 1.5–8 x 1–3.5cm, apex acuminate, margin creno-serrate, base truncate to obtuse, moderately pubescent with white septate hairs below, less so above; petioles 3–7cm, petiolules to 2.5cm; upper leaves smaller (but still pinnate with 2 leaflets), leaflets much narrower to lanceolate (or linear), sometimes pinnately lobed, apex acuminate, margin serrate, base cuneate. Umbels 2–3.5cm across, 5–7(–8)-rayed; rays 0.6–2cm long, filiform, unequal; bracts 0–2, to 3mm, linear-subulate; umbellules c 5mm across, 7–11-flowered; pedicels short, 0.5–2.2mm (to 5mm in fruit), unequal; bracteoles (0-)1–4, linear-subulate, 0.75–2.5mm. Petals white to cream (rarley tinged purple), c 0.7 x 0.5mm, hairy on the reverse. Fruit c 1.5 x 1.3mm, ovoid-subglobose, covered with rounded to pointed papillae. 

Bhutan: S—Chukka district (Chima Kothi); C—Thimphu district (Gida, Motithang, Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu), Punakha district (Chusom) and Tongsa district (Shamgong, Tashiling); N—Upper Mo Chu district (Mo Chu).
Sikkim: Chunthang, Hee, Heethlo.
Darjeeling: Rambi, Simshibong. 

Ecology: Open areas, dry grasslands and arid lands, 900–2600m. Flowers August–September(–October). 

Illustration [Fig. 50 j-l]

Specimen List [11000]

Pimpinella diversifolia DC.

Erect slender-stemmed perennial, laxly corymbosely branched above, 0.7–1m or more tall; stem variably pubescent but denser at base and below umbels; inflorescence branches densely pubescent. Leaves mainly trifoliate (or lower leaves pinnate with 2 pairs of lateral leaflets); leaflets 1.5–7.5 x 1.3–5.5cm, ovate, apex acute to acuminate, base cordate to truncate (-obtuse), margin serrate or biserrate, moderately pubescent below with jointed white hairs, less hairy above; petioles 1–10cm, petiolules 0.3–6cm, both moderate to sparsely pubescent. Inflorescences born at top of plant, umbels 3–5cm across, (10-)15–24-rayed; rays 0.6–2cm, unequal; bracts 1, lanceolate sometimes with a leaf-like expanded apex, 0.5–1cm long; umbellules c 1.2cm across, 15–26-flowered; pedicels 0.5–8mm, very unequal; bracteoles 3–7, 1.5–5mm, linear subulate. Petals cream to purple fringed cream, c 0.8 x 0.6mm, with a few white hairs on the reverse. Anthers dark purple, filaments cream. Fruit ovoid to sub-globose, 1.2–1.6 x 1.2–1.6mm, densely covered in rounded papillae.

    Pimpinella diversifolia var. diversifolia

    Plant without stolons, purple jointed hairs scattered but not dense, fruit set good. 

    Bhutan: C— Mongar district (Dong La).
    Sikkim: Dzongri, Lachung. 2700–4200m. Flowers August. 

    Specimen List [15145]

    Note: Apparently the less common variety in Bhutan.

    Pimpinella diversifolia var. stolonifera Handel-Mazzetti

    Lower parts of stem densely to moderately pubescent with jointed long purple(-brown) hairs, mixing with shorter white simple hairs and becomming glabrous above; long, slender, flexuose stolons arising from the axils of the lower leaves, rooting and shooting at nodes (with simple leaves), sparsely hairy. Fruit set often rather poor. 

    Bhutan: S—Chukka district (Bunakha, Bunakha to Chima Kothi); C—Thimphu district (Dochong La, Motithang, Phajoding, Thimphu).
    Sikkim: Chija Bhanjang, Dzongri, Tumbok.
    Darjeeling: Darjeeling, Tanglu. 

    Ecology: Moist mixed woodland, shaded pathsides, banks, etc., 2000–3500m. Flowers July–September. 

    Specimen List [15146]

Pimpinella sikkimensis C.B.Clarke
    Chaerophyllum reflexum var. orientalis C.B.Clarke
    Chaerophyllum orientalis (C.B.Clarke) P.K.Mukherjee non Boissier
Stems 30–120cm, erect to scandent, glabrous to scabrescent; stem and inflorescence branches sometimes purple-spotted. Leaves triangular-ovate in outline, to 25 x 17cm (including petiole), 2-pinnate; leaflets ovate-oblong, 5–18 x 3–12mm, setulose-serrate. Umbels c 2–4cm across in flower, (5–)9–15-rayed; rays 0.5–1.5cm, elongating and thickening to 7.5cm in fruit; bracts 1–6(–9), linear 5–6mm, persistent; umbellules c 5mm across, 14–22-flowered, flowers male or hermaphrodite (only 5–12 fruiting); pedicels 1.5–4mm elongating and thickening to 18mm in fruit; bracteoles 5–7, linear-subulate, to 2mm, persistent. Calyx teeth prominent, linear-lanceolate, 0.2–0.5mm, reflexed in fruit. Petals white to greenish-white. Infructescence lax with long rays and pedicels, umbellules with distinctive persistent remains of male flowers at base; fruit ovoid to ovoid oblong, c 3–3.2 x 1.75–2mm, smooth, primary ridges moderately prominent. 

Darjeeling: Ghumpahar, Rimbi Chhu.
Sikkim: Heethlo, Lusing. 

Ecology: Mixed forest, 1800–2500. Flowers August. 

Specimen List [11419]

Note: An immature Bhutanese specimen (Upper Kulong Chhu district, Shingbe La, 10,000', Ludlow, Sherriff and Hicks, No 20815, 5 July 1949, BM!) maybe this species. 

Pimpinella wallichii C.B.Clarke
    non Pimpinella wallichiana (Hohenacker) Gandhi
Slender plants 40–125cm, essentially glabrous apart from some minute scabrescence on the rays; stems erect, loosely corymose-branched. Leaves ovate in outline, to 25 x 22cm (including petiole), 3-pinnate or -pinnatifid, finely divided into linear-lanceolate ultimate segments, 1–2 x 2–6mm, often 3-lobed at apex, tips acute, margins scaberulous. Umbels numerous, terminal and lateral, 1.5–4cm across, 6–14-rayed; rays 0.8–2.5cm, somewhat unequal; bracts 0–1(–2) linear subulate to 5mm, early falling; umbellules 3–5mm across, 8–15-flowered; pedicels short, 0.5–5mm; bracteoles 1–3, linear-subulate, 1–5mm. as long as or overtopping the flowers margins scaberulous. Petals white. Infructescence crowded; fruit ovoid to sub-globbose, 1.5–2 x 1.5–2mm, primary ribs prominent (pale when mature), the 2–3 ridges of vittae per furrow evident. 

Sikkim: Hee, Heethlo, Kalej Khola. 1200–1850m. Flowers September. 

Specimen List [11443]

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