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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 secundiflora
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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 4

1 Leaves pinnately compound or pinnately lobed to midvein.   (2)
+ Leaves pinnately or palmately lobed, lobes not reaching midvein.   (4)
2 (1) Plants pubescent   48 Primula filchnerae
+ Plants glabrous.   (3)
3 (2) Pinnae (1 or)2-6 pairs, with 2-4 teeth on each side; corolla pink or pale lilac, limb 4-8 mm wide   52 Primula cicutariifolia
+ Pinnae 7-9 pairs, pinnatifid or pinnately dentate; corolla white or tinged with lilac, limb 10-12 mm wide   53 Primula merrilliana
4 (1) Calyx inflated at base.   (5)
+ Calyx not inflated at base.   (6)
5 (4) Leaf rosette with wiry petioles of withered leaves at base; calyx 8-10 mm in fruit   49 Primula rupestris
+ Leaf rosette without remains of old leaves at base; calyx 15-20 mm in fruit   50 Primula sinensis
6 (4) Lateral veins of leaves pinnate; calyx many veined.   (7)
+ Lateral veins of leaves mostly branched from base; calyx few veined.   (8)
7 (6) Capsule ellipsoid, ca. as long as calyx   30 Primula polyneura
+ Capsule oblong, slightly longer than calyx   31 Primula saxatilis
8 (6) Petiole vaginate at base; leaves glabrescent abaxially   33 Primula vaginata
+ Petiole not vaginate at base; leaves pubescent along veins abaxially.   (9)
9 (8) Leaf blade palmately lobed 1/3-1/2 its width, lobules with obtuse teeth   34 Primula latisecta
+ Leaf blade palmately lobed nearly to base, lobules with acute teeth   35 Primula palmata

List of Keys

  • List of lower taxa


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