YASIN J. NASIR
Primula platycrana Craib
A farinose plant (5-) 8-32 cm tall, with a short and stout rhizome emitting roots; base of rhizome sheathed in bud-scales, which are prominent, brownish-red and persistent. -.eaves 3.5-13.5 x 0.8-4 cm, elliptic-lanceolate to strap shaped, obtuse, denticulate, puberulous on the upper surface, with yellow farina on the under surface, sometimes puberulous on the nerves below (hairs white) in fruiting specimens; petiole broad sheathing. Scape solitary, or up to 4-5 in number, 4-30 cm long, stout, up to 40 cm in fruit, fistular, glabrous. Flowers in dense capitate heads, heteromorphic, mauve to pinkish-blue. Bracts 4-6 mm long, lanceolate, dilated at the base, margin minutely pubescent. Pedicel in fruit c. 1.5 mm long. Calyx 4-10 mm long, tubular-ovoid, ½ cleft into linear-lanceolate lobes, more or less chartaceous in fruit. Corolla tube slightly longer or up to twice as long as the calyx; limb up to 18 mm long; lobes 7-8 x 5-6 mm, throat light yellow, exannulate, Anthers 2.5 mm long, oblong, attached c. 2 mm below the throat (in pin-eyed flowers they are present just above and ovary). Ovary subglobose, c. 2.5 mm broad. Style c. 2 mm long (in pin-eyed flowers 6.5 mm). Capsule included, sub-globose to obovoid. Seeds c. 0.4 mm, angular, papillose.
Fl. Per.: April, but much later at high altitudes.
Holotype: Upper Nepal, Chitlong, in 1802, Buchanan s.n. (LINN!).
Distribution: Afghanistan and the temperate Himalaya, from Kashmir to Assam.
The species over its wide distributional range is morphologically very variable in size; dwarf alpine forms are known to occur which tend to have larger and fewer flowers. Watt (1904) mentions that occasionally white flowers occur with an organge throat. Sometimes the scape is not exserted above the foliage, as in A.R. Beg’s specimen from Ratti Gal. in Azad Kashmir.
The species is very common throughout the Himalaya from 1300–4300 m. appearing in early spring in open places such as forest clearings or by melting snow and damp meadows.