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This species is accepted, and its native range is Iran to Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


Zarrei, M., Wilkin, P., Ingrouille, M.J. & Chase, M.W. 2010. Gagea robusta (Liliaceae), a new species from Flora Iranica area. Kew Bulletin 65: 327. DOI:

The extent of occurrence (EOO) of this species was estimated to be 25000 km2 based on Fig. 2A. Twelve localities support Gagearobusta based on the herbarium specimens collected to date. However, fieldwork suggests populations are small, comprising only a few individuals with an estimate of between 1000 and 10,000 individuals appearing likely. These data suggest a possible conservative provisional IUCN Red List category of near threatened (NT) (IUCN 2001). Although some known populations such as Zarrei & Zarre 1032 and Akhani 10229, are in protected areas, most populations are under grazing pressure. Further research on the conservation status of this species is needed, in particular to discover the degree of threat posed by grazing.
This species occurs from northern and northeastern Iran to western and central Afghanistan
This new species is widely distributed in Iran, but it is scattered (Fig. 2A). Two localities were also recorded from Afghansitan (Fig. 2A) based on herbarium specimens. One was collected from around Bamian (Hedge & Wendelbo W4613) and the second one collected from Ghowr (Köie 4274). It has been mostly observed in open habitats with no shrubs or trees. However, Furse 7187 was collected from woodland with scarce Juniperusexcelsa Wall. trees. Zarrei 1172 was collected from foothills with some shrubs of Berberis integerrima Bunge and rarely Juniperus excelsa trees. The following species have been observed in the locality of Zarrei 1172: Gagea kunawurensis (Royle) Greuter (an accepted name for G. stipitata Merckl. ex Bunge according to Zarrei et al.2010c), G. reticulata, G. iranica Zarrei & Zarre, G. vegeta Vved., Fritillaria raddeana Regel, Artemisia sieberi Bess., Tulipa montana Lindl. var. montana, Hyacinthus litwinovii Czerniak., Poa bulbosa L., Muscari neglectum Guss. ex Ten., Juniperus excelsa, and Berberis integerrima. Artemisia steppe is the preferred habitat of this newly discovered species (Fig. 3A). Soils with a high percentage of clay covered by Poa bulbosa are mostly preferred. However, it has been observed on steep scree-covered slopes.
Morphology General Habit
Perennial bulbiferous plants, solitary, never clump-forming, (110 –) 130 – 240 (– 290) mm tall
Morphology Leaves
basal leaf one, up to two times longer than inflorescence, (110 –) 130 – 190 (– 390) × 1.0 – 1.6 (– 2.3) mm, puberulent Cauline leaves 2 – 5 (– 8), verticillate, the lowest one lanceolate, flattened to semicircular in transverse section, gradually narrowing towards apex, enveloping stem at the base, shorter than or equal to the inflorescence, lamina puberulent to densely villous, margins strigose-ciliate; upper bracteate leaves shorter, strigose-ciliate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 3.0 – 6.0 mm long, anther narrowly oblong, 1.5 – 3.0 × 0.7 – 1.5 mm, yellow
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 2 – 5 mm long × 1.3 –3.0 mm in diam., cylindric, style 4 – 5 mm long, as long as to two times longer than ovary; stigma capitate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Tepal
Tepals (10 –) 13 – 17 × 2 – 3 mm, lanceolate, acuminate at the tip, yellow inside, green outside, with a wide white margin, villous-ciliate at the apex margins, surface glabrous, mostly puberulent, particularly at the base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule oblong in outline shape, truncate; seeds thinly triquetrous with translucent margins
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence umbellate, (2 –) 4 – 6 (– 8)-flowered, pedicels unequal, erect, longest pedicels (15 –) 20 – 45 (– 70) mm long, densely villous or puberulent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracteoles
Bracteoles absent
Morphology Roots
Roots thin, cord-like roots rarely present (only in Zarrei 1157)
Morphology Stem
Stem erect, subterranean part (10 –) 30 – 50 (– 90) mm long, aerial part (10 –) 20 – 90 (– 155) × (0.8 –) 1.1 – 1.5 (– 2.0) mm; puberulent
This new species was previously identified as Gagea reticulata (Akhani 10229 in W by H. Akhani) and/or G. setifolia (Hedge & Wendelbo W4613 in GB by A. I. Vvedensky).
Iran, Prov. Tehran, Firuzkuh towards Tehran, mountains around Chehel-Cheshmeh restaurant, 35°41′42″N 52°31′92″E, 2130 m, 9 May 2007, Zarrei 1318 (holotypusK!,isotypus TUH!).
Vegetative Multiplication Bulbs
Bulbs ovoid, 13 – 25 mm in diam × 20 – 30 mm long; tunics fibrose-reticulate to coarse-reticulate, dark grey to light brown, neck (10 –) 30 – 60 (– 120) mm long, coarse-reticulate, multilayered, extending up to soil line or beyond; bulbils on bulb absent

Native to:

Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan

Gagea robusta Zarrei & Wilkin appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
May 26, 2010 Zarrei, M. [1318], Iran K000524249 holotype

First published in Kew Bull. 65: 327 (2010)

Accepted by

  • Zarrei, M., Wilkin, P. & Chase, M.W. (2011). Gagea Salisb. (Liliaceae) in Iran: an updated species checklist Phytotaxa 15: 33-43.


Kew Bulletin

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