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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 florindae

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 6

1 Plants with woody rhizomes; capsule valved.   (2)
+ Plants with small membranous bud scales at base; capsule crumbling irregularly.   (5)
2 (1) Scapes robust, more than 4 cm; inflorescences many flowered.   (3)
+ Scapes slender, usually shorter than leaf rosette; inflorescences few flowered.   (4)
3 (2) Scapes ± yellow farinose toward apex, glabrous   63 Primula bullata
+ Scapes with tawny glandular hairs; calyx efarinose except inside near base, pubescent   64 Primula forrestii
4 (2) Leaf blade much longer than wide, base attenuate; petiole ca. as long as leaf blade   65 Primula bracteata
+ Leaf blade nearly as long as wide, base truncate to shallowly cordate; petiole distinctly longer than leaf blade   66 Primula rockii
5 (1) Scapes absent.   (6)
+ Scapes present.   (7)
6 (5) Pedicel densely pilose; calyx 7-9 mm   100 Primula exscapa
+ Pedicel sparsely pilose; calyx 5-6.5 mm   101 Primula praeflorens
7 (5) Scape 1(-3)-flowered; bracts usually 2   102 Primula coerulea
+ Scape (2 or)3- to many flowered; bracts several.   (8)
8 (7) Leaf blade oblong-obovate to oblanceolate, base attenuate; petiole very short or nearly obsolete.   (9)
+ Leaf blade oblong to elliptic or broadly obovate, base rounded or short attenuate, distinctly petiolate.   (12)
9 (8) Flowers homostylous; corolla lobes entire   112 Primula klaveriana
+ Flowers heterostylous; corolla lobes ± emarginate at apex.   (10)
10 (9) Leaf blade neither bullate nor alveolate; corolla lobes cuneate-oblong   115 Primula hylobia
+ Leaf blade bullate adaxially, alveolate abaxially; corolla lobes broadly obovate.   (11)
11 (10) Leaf blade sharply erose-dentate; pedicel hirtellous-pilose   113 Primula davidii
+ Leaf blade remotely hydathode-denticulate; pedicel pubescent   114 Primula fagosa
12 (8) Leaf blade irregularly hydathode-dentate; scape arising from leaf rosette of previous year   106 Primula breviscapa
+ Leaf blade obscurely crenulate or denticulate; scape arising from leaf rosette of current year.   (13)
13 (12) Leaves glabrous except for veins pubescent abaxially   107 Primula tardiflora
+ Leaves pilose or pubescent at least on entire abaxial surface.   (14)
14 (13) Leaves thin papery, base subcuneate, not alveolate abaxially   110 Primula leptophylla
+ Leaves firm papery or subleathery, base rounded or obtuse, prominently alveolate abaxially.   (15)
15 (14) Leaves subglabrous adaxially; corolla limb 1.5-2.5 cm wide   108 Primula ovalifolia
+ Leaves pilose adaxially; corolla limb ca. 1.5 cm wide   109 Primula crassa

List of Keys

  • List of lower taxa


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