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Pakistan | Family List | Primulaceae

1. Primula L., Sp. Pl. ed. l.142. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5.70.1754; Duby in DC., Prodr. 8:33-74.1844; Boiss., Fl. Or. 4:22.1879; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 3:482. 1882; Pax, Monogr. Primula, 1-169.1888; G. Watt in J. Roy. Hort. Soc. 29:295-328.1904; Pax in Engler, Pflanzenr. 22 (iv. 237): 90.1905; W.W. Smith & H.R. Fletcher in Trans. Roy. Soc. Edinb. 60:563-611. 1941-42; id., 61:1-69, 417, 469-478. 1943; id., 631-632, 637-644. 1948; Ludlow in J. Roy. Hort. Soc. 76, 6:191-206. 1951; Fedorov in Schischkin & Bobrov, Fl. URSS. 18:112. 1952; Wendelbo in Acta Univ. Bergensis, Mat.-Naturv. Ser. 11. 1-49. 1961; in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 9:1-12. 1965.


Primula macrophylla var. moorcroftiana

Credit: S. Hameed

Perennial herbs possessing rhizomes or stolons. Leaves usually in basal rosettes, sometimes cauline, entire to variously incised or lobed, revolute, involute or conduplicate in bud. Scape usually present and elongating after anthesis. Flowers 5-merous, umbellate or in capitate heads, sometimes solitary or few by reduction, often heterostylous. Calyx persistent. Corolla salver-shaped or infundibuliform to sometimes ± campanulate; the tube straight and much exceeding the calyx, lobes entire or 2-fid. Stamens 5, included; anthers narrow oblong, obtuse, in pin-eyed flowers attached half way up the tube and in thrum-eyed ones near the throat of the corolla. Ovary superior, with indefinite ovules on a free central placentum. Style slender, stigma capitate and posessing prominent papillae in pin-eyed flowers. Capsule globose to tubular-cylindrical. Dehiscence by 5-10 apical teeth or irregular. Seeds many, ovoid-angular to subglobose or compressed dorsally, papillose, vesiculose or reticulate-vesiculose, sometimes ends flanged.

c. 500 species in the N. Temperate zone, inhabiting the mountainous regions of Europe (Alps, Carpathians, Pyrenees), The Himalaya and S.W. China. Represented in Pakistan and adjoining areas by 23 species.

Species incorrectly or doubtfully recorded from Kashmir

Primula primulina (Spreng.) Hara in J. Japan, Bot. 37:99.1962.

Androsace primulina Sprengel, Syst. Veget. ed. 16(4)2. Cur. post. 57.1827; Primula pusilla Wall. in Roxb. Fl. Ind. (Carey ed.) 2:22.1824, non Goldie 1882.

R.R. Stewart (Annot. Cat. Fl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 540. 1972) lists this species, based on a Schlagintweit collection from the Baltoro and Mustagh glaciers in the Karakorams. I have not seen the above mentioned specimen. Hu Chi Ming (pers. commun.) who is revising the family for the flora of China records the species from S. Sinkiang and S. Tibet. The distribution of the species extends from Kumaon and eastwards to Bhutan and Sikkim.

Species indet.

Primula sp.: D-4 On hill above Residency, Ziarat, Baluchistan, M.A. Siddiqi 2047 (RAW).

No Primula is reported from Baluchistan and this gathering may be from a cultivated source. The plant in facies, the pubescent nature, large calyx and pollen grains is very similar to the N. Iranian Primula macrocalyx Bunge. Fedorov (1952, p. 148) mentions this species’ to be ornamental as well. More collection and information regarding this plant is desirable for further investigation. Fl. Per.: May.

1 Flowers reflexed or nodding. Corolla ± campanulate. Calyx lobes gland-tipped   22 Primula reidii
+ Flowers erect. Corolla salver to infundibuliform. Calyx lobes not gland-tipped   (2)
2 (1) Flowers yellow, creamy-yellow, white or pinkish   (3)
+ Flowers pink, mauve, pink-purple or blue   (5)
3 (2) Plants weak stemmed and straggling. Leaves cauline. Flowers in superposed whorls of 2-5   1 Primula floribunda
+ Plants erect, fairly robust. Flowers umbellate   (4)
4 (3) Bracts not auricled towards the base. Flowers yellow. Corolla lobes entire to slightly retuse. Leaves farinose on the undersurface   4 Primula duthieana
+ Bracts auricled at the base. Flowers white or pinkish. Corolla lobes obcordate, retuse to emarginate. Leaves efarinose   16 Primula involucrata
5 (2) Leaves orbicular, reniform, subcordate or oblong to ovate-oblong   (6)
+ Leaves elliptic, elliptic-lanceolate, elliptic-ovate or spathulate   (7)
6 (5) Plants scapose. Lamina oblong to ovate-oblong. Capsule membranous, splitting irregularly   2 Primula pulchra
+ Plants escapose. Lamina orbicular-reniform, subcordate to orbicular-oblong. Capsule ± firm, dehiscing by 5 apical teeth   6 Primula clarkei
7 (5) Bracts reflexed in fruit   12 Primula algida
+ Bracts patent, sometimes flexuose in fruit   (8)
8 (7) Plants small and of a carpet forming habit   (9)
+ Plants usually not small or of a carpet-like habit   (10)
9 (8) Leaves spathulate, crenulate, efarinose   19 Primula reptans
+ Leaves lanceolate, denticulate to serrulate, farinose   18 Primula minutissima
10 (8) Capsule globose to ovoid or oblong, ± included in the calyx   (11)
+ Capsule tubular cylindrical, equalling or much exceeding the calyx   (18)
11 (10) Capsule oblong   5 Primula obtusifolia
+ Capsule ovoid to subglobose   (12)
12 (11) Leaves strap shaped. Calyx cupular. Plants winter flowering and frequenting waterfalls up to an altitude of 1900 m   17 Primula inayatii
+ Leaves and calyx not so. Plants summer flowering and of various alpine habitats, from altitudes 2000-5400 m   (13)
13 (12) Flowers many, in dense umbellate heads. Calyx ± chartaceous in fruit   20 Primula denticulata
+ Flowers up to 12 in number, in lax umbels. Calyx not chartaceous in fruit   (14)
14 (13) Leaves membranous, white farinose on the undersurface. Scape 1 (-3) in number   13 Primula hazarica
+ Leaves not membranous, rarely farinose. Scape solitary   (15)
15 (14) Leaves pubescent to tomentose on the under surface   21 Primula denticuloides
+ Leaves glabrous   (16)
16 (15) Leaves synanthus, coarse and irregularly dentate or erose-dentate   (17)
+ Leaves fully developed only after anthesis, denticulate or erose-denticulate   8 Primula rosea
17 (16) Flowers pink. Bracts 4.5-7 mm long   9 Primula warshenewskiana
+ Flowers violet-pink to purplish-blue. Bracts 8-12 mm long   7 Primula elliptica
18 (10) Bracts up to 9 mm long, saccate at the base. Capsule narrow cylindric   (19)
+ Bracts 10-20 mm long, not saccate. Capsule broad cylindric   3 Primula macrophylla
19 (18) Plants usually farinose. Petiole ± flat and not distinct. Calyx not glandular-punctate   (20)
+ Plants efarinose. Petiole usually narrow and fairly distinct. Calyx glandular-punctate   (21)
20 (19) Bracts lanceolate to linear-lanceolate. Pedicel 1-6 mm long in fruit   10 Primula schlagintweitiana
+ Bracts ovate-oblong or narrow ovate. Pedicel up to 2.5 mm long in fruit   11 Primula capitellata
21 (19) Leaf lamina gradually tapering in to the petiole. Scape 2-7-flowered. Calyx and bracts dense glandular punctate   15 Primula pamirica
+ Leaf lamina abruptly passing in to the petiole Scape 1-4-flowered. Calyx and bracts sparse glandular-punctate   14 Primula nutans

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