5. Primula laurentiana Fernald, Rhodora. 30: 68. 1928.
Bird’s-eye primrose, primevère laurentienne Bird’s-eye primrose, primevère laurentienne
Primula farinosa Linnaeus var. macropoda Fernald, Rhodora 9: 16. 1907, not P. macropoda Craib 1919; P. mistassinica Michaux var. macropoda (Fernald) B. Boivin
Plants 10-48 cm, herbaceous; rhizomes thin, short; rosettes not clumped; vegetative parts usually farinose but sometimes efarinose in age. Leaves not aromatic, indistinctly petiolate; petiole broadly winged; blade without deep reticulate veins abaxially, oblanceolate to spatulate, 3-10 × 0.4-1.3 cm, thin, margins crenate, apex obtuse to acute, surfaces glabrous. Inflorescences 3-12-flowered; involucral bracts saccate, ± equal. Pedicels erect or spreading, sturdy, 5-10 mm, length ca. 2 times bracts, somewhat flexuous. Flowers homostylous; calyx green, campanulate, 5-8 mm; corolla lavender, tube 6-9 mm, length 1.5-2 times calyx, eglandular, limb 10-16 mm diam., lobes 5-8 mm, apex emarginate. Capsules ellipsoid, length 1.5-2 times calyx. Seeds without flanged edges, reticulate. 2n = 72.
Flowering summer. Moist open areas, meadows and stream banks on calcareous soils; 0-300 m; N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.S., Ont., Que.; Maine.
Primula laurentiana is the octoploid member of a polyploid complex of sect. Aleuritia in North America that encompasses ploidy levels from 2x to 14x. It is most similar to the hexaploid P. incana; it differs in its larger flowers, more open inflorescence, and more robust stature. Both species are heavily farinose and have homostylous flowers. The efarinose form described as forma chlorophylla Fernald is a common variant throughout the range of the species. In coastal northeastern Canada, P. laurentiana blends morphologically and ecologically with P. stricta and crossing between the two is likely; assessment of species identity can be difficult here.