Stipa zeravshanica sp. nov. (Poaceae), an endemic species from rocky walls of the western Pamir Alai Mountains (middle Asia)


M. Nobis, Dept of Plant Taxonomy, Phytogeography and Herbarium, Inst. of Botany, Jagiellonian Univ., Kopernika 27, PL-31-501 Kraków, Poland. E-mail:


Stipa zeravshanica M. Nobis sp. nov. from the western Pamir Alai Mts (Tajikistan) is described and illustrated. Morphologically, the new species is similar to S. gracilis, but it is easily distinguishable by pilose (vs. glabrous) lower part of the awn, and generally somewhat longer ligules of the vegetative shoots. Epidermal patterns of the lemma in S. zeravshanica and three other closely related taxa, namely S. gracilis, S. himalaica and S. orientalis, were examined by means of SEM. The main macro-morphological and micro-morphological characteristics differentiating all mentioned species are presented. Additionally, a lectotype for S. gracilis is designated. Based on phytosociological relevés prepared during field investigation in the western Pamir Alai Mts, a new plant association Asperulo albiflorae–Stipetum zeravshanicae, occurring on shelves and rocky crevices is also described.