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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 15 | Primulaceae

8. Primula Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 142. 1753.

报春花属 bao chun hua shu

Primula alpicola

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Herbs perennial, rarely annual, glabrous or pubescent, often farinose. Leaves simple, forming a rosette. Flowers usually heterostylous with pin (with longer styles) and thrum (with shorter styles) flowers; sometimes homostylous, in umbellate, racemose, subcapitate, or spicate inflorescences on scapes, with bracts; rarely solitary, scapes undeveloped. Calyx campanulate or cylindric, sometimes leaflike, 5-toothed. Corolla tube cylindric, not constricted at throat; limb 5-lobed, spreading or campanulate; lobes 2-cleft, margin entire. Stamens inserted on corolla tube; filaments very short; anthers obtuse. Ovary superior. Capsule globose, ovoid, or cylindric, dehiscing by valves, rarely with an operculum or crumbling; seeds numerous.

Approximately 500 species, mostly indigenous to the N temperate zone, with only a few outliers on the mountainous regions of Africa (Ethiopia), tropical Asia (Java and Sumatra), and South America. About 300 species are native to China.

Many species are imperfectly known, sometimes collected only once. This is reflected occasionally by missing details on pin or thrum morphology, fruiting characteristics, or ecology.


The 300 species are represented by 24 sections according to C. M. Hu: 1. Sect. Monocarpicae Franchet ex Pax: spp. 1--13. 2. Sect. Obconicolisteri I. B. Balfour: spp. 14--23. 3. Sect. Cortusoides I. B. Balfour: spp. 24--40. 4. Sect. Malvacea I. B. Balfour: spp. 41--47. 5. Sect. Auganthus (Link) Pax ex I. B. Balfour: spp. 48--50. 6. Sect. Pycnoloba I. B. Balfour: sp. 51. 7. Sect. Ranunculoides Chen & C. M. Hu: spp. 52--53. 8. Sect. Primula: sp. 54. 9. Sect. Carolinella (Hemsley) Pax: spp. 55--62. 10. Sect. Bullatae Pax: spp. 63--66. 11. Sect. Petiolares Pax: spp. 67--115. 12. Sect. Proliferae Pax: spp. 116--134. 13. Sect. Amethystina I. B. Balfour: spp. 135--142. 14. Sect. Sikkimensis I. B. Balfour: spp. 143--150. 15. Sect. Crystallophlomis Rupr.: spp. 151--191. 16. Sect. Cordifoliae Pax: spp. 192--196. 17. Sect. Aleuritia Duby: spp. 197--242. Spp. 238--242 are recognized in Europe and North America as Sect. Armerina. 18. Sect. Minutissimae Pax: spp. 243--259. 19. Sect. Souliei I. B. Balfour ex W. W. Smith & Forrest: spp. 260--265. 20. Sect. Dryadifolia I. B. Balfour: spp. 266--268. 21. Sect. Denticulata Watt: spp. 269--274. 22. Sect. Capitatae Pax: spp. 275--276. 23. Sect. Muscarioides I. B. Balfour: spp. 277--289. 24. Sect. Soldanelloides Pax: spp. 290--300.

Key 14

1 Plants with woody rhizomes; leaf blade usually less than 1.3 cm wide, evergreen.   (2)
+ Plants without woody rhizomes; leaf blade usually more than 2 cm wide, withering in winter.   (3)
2 (1) Leaves farinose abaxially; corolla throat without projecting tuft of hairs   266 Primula dryadifolia
+ Leaves efarinose; corolla throat with projecting tuft of hairs   267 Primula tsongpenii
3 (1) Plants farinose.   (4)
+ Plants efarinose.   (8)
4 (3) Corolla yellow   215 Primula qinghaiensis
+ Corolla lilac or violet.   (5)
5 (4) Corolla lobes deeply emarginate.   (6)
+ Corolla lobes entire or crenulate.   (7)
6 (5) Calyx broadly campanulate, obscurely veined, efarinose or farinose at base   217 Primula tenuipes
+ Calyx subtubular, distinctly 5-veined, farinose on both sides   194 Primula baileyana
7 (5) Lateral veins of leaves subpinnate; farina yellow; capsule at least 1.5 × as long as calyx   195 Primula rotundifolia
+ Lateral veins of leaves subbasal; farina white, capsule slightly shorter than calyx   193 Primula littledalei
8 (3) Leaves papery or subleathery; calyx lobes subobtuse at apex.   (9)
+ Leaves herbaceous or membranous; calyx lobes acute at apex.   (11)
9 (8) Corolla lobes emarginate at apex, lobules entire   67 Primula chartacea
+ Corolla lobes 2-cleft at apex, lobules dentate or lacerate.   (10)
10 (9) Umbels with bracts and small petiolate leaves; corolla tube 1.1-1.3 cm, pilose inside   68 Primula lacerata
+ Umbels with simple bracts only; corolla tube 0.7-1(-1.2) cm, puberulent inside   69 Primula veitchiana
11 (8) Corolla yellow, lobes strongly reflexed   185 Primula tzetsouensis
+ Corolla lilac or violet, lobes spreading.   (12)
12 (11) Leaf blade ovate to suborbicular, margin distinctly dentate   196 Primula gambeliana
+ Leaf blade elliptic to obovate-oblong, margin obscurely blunt dentate   105 Primula chienii

List of Keys

  • List of lower taxa


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