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Primulaceae Ventenat

报春花科 bao chun hua ke

Authors: Qiming Hu & Sylvia Kelso

Androsace bisulca var. aurata

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Herbs perennial or annual, rarely suffruticose. Leaves alternate, opposite, or whorled, often all basal, simple, entire to lobed. Flowers solitary or in panicles, racemes, or umbels, usually with bracts, perfect, (4- or)5(--9)-merous, often heterostylous (Primula). Calyx persistent. Corolla gamopetalous, actinomorphic, rarely absent (Glaux). Stamens as many as and opposite corolla lobes, ± epipetalous, occasionally with scalelike staminodes. Filaments free or connate into a tube at base. Ovary superior, rarely semi-inferior (Samolus), unilocular; placentation free central; style simple; stigma inconspicuous, capitate. Fruit a capsule, dehiscing by valves, rarely circumscissile or indehiscent. Seeds many or few; embryo small, straight, surrounded by endosperm.

The family contains 22 genera and ca. 1000 species, occurring mainly in temperate and mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere. Twelve genera and 517 species are widely distributed throughout China, but are represented mostly in the S and W regions. The centers of diversity for Primula, Androsace, and Omphalogramma are W Sichuan, E Xizang, and NW Yunnan. Lysimachia is also highly developed in provinces S of the Chang Jiang, while Pomatosace is an endemic genus confined to a small area of NW Sichuan and Qinghai.

Many species of Primula and Androsace are cultivated for their attractive flowers as pot plants, in rock gardens, or in garden borders. Some species of Lysimachia are used medicinally. Cyclamen persicum Miller is frequently cultivated as a pot plant.

Chen Feng-hwai, Hu Chi-ming, Fang Yun-yi, Cheng Chao-zong, Yang Yong-chang & Huang Rong-fu In Chen Feng-hwai & Hu Chi-ming, editors. 1990. Primulaceae (1). Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 59(1): 1-217; Hu Chi-ming In Chen Feng-hwai & Hu Chi-ming, editors. 1990. Primulaceae (2). Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 59(2): 1-321.


1 Ovary semi-inferior; bracts inserted on middle of pedicel   12 Samolus
+ Ovary superior.   (2)
       
2 (1) Corolla lobes contorted in bud, or corolla absent.   (3)
+ Corolla lobes imbricate or quincuncial in bud.   (6)
       
3 (2) Capsule circumscissile; filaments pubescent   4 Anagallis
+ Capsule valvular; filaments glabrous.   (4)
       
4 (3) Corolla absent; calyx pink or white   3 Glaux
+ Corolla present; calyx green.   (5)
       
5 (4) Corolla 5-merous, or if 6--9-merous then in axillary racemes   1 Lysimachia
+ Flowers usually 7-merous, solitary in axils of subterminal leaves   2 Trientalis
       
6 (2) Anthers apiculate; filaments connate into a thin membranous ring at base   5 Cortusa
+ Anthers obtuse; filaments free.   (7)
       
7 (6) Capsule circumscissile.   (8)
+ Capsule valvular, rarely opening in calyptra fashion.   (9)
       
8 (7) Corolla 7-lobed; leaves entire; capsule elongate- cylindric   10 Bryocarpum
+ Corolla 5-lobed; leaves pinnatifid; capsule subglobose   11 Pomatosace
       
9 (7) Flowers solitary, in axils of alternate cauline leaves   6 Stimpsonia
+ Flowers in umbels, racemes, or spikes, or flowers solitary from leaf rosettes.   (10)
       
10 (9) Flowering rosette with a solitary large flower; scapes without bracts; corolla more than 1.5 cm in diam.   9 Omphalogramma
+ Flowering rosette with 1 to many scapose inflorescence(s) of flowers with bracts, or with a solitary flower with bracts or not; corolla less than 1.5 cm in diam.   (11)
       
11 (10) Corolla tube usually shorter than calyx, constricted at throat; flowers homostylous   7 Androsace
+ Corolla tube longer than calyx, not constricted at throat; flowers often heterostylous   8 Primula

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