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A New Species of Panax L. (Araliaceae) from Sikkim Himalaya, India

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Panax sokpayensis , a new species from Sikkim Himalaya, India is described. The species was found growing in the submontane zone of West Sikkim in the habitats located between 1,700 m and 2,300 m altitudes. The localities, where the species grows, are forested habitats dominated by a Quercus-Acer vegetation in association with Viburnum erubescens, Daphne cannabina, Urtica parviflora, Gerardiana heterophylla, and several species of ferns. Morphological characters of this species are compared with other known species of Panax in Himalaya. The new species is distinct from its allies in having a robust habit, a large horizontal creeping rhizome with a single small globose tuber, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic leaflets, long leafy bracts, and small black and red fruits. Panax sokpayensis is separated from the P. pseudoginseng and other species complexes in the genus. The difference between P. sokpayensis and its related Himalayan taxa are discussed. We also show that P. pseudoginseng was wrongly reported from the Indian Himalaya.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-04-01

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