YASIN J. NASIR
Androsace obovata Wall. ex Duby
Plants perennial, efarinose, pubescent to hairy, with a slender rhizome. Leaves cauline (including the petiole), 4-12 x 1.6-5 cm, ovate to obovate, irregularly dentate, ± membranous, glandular pubescent, the hairs articulate-pilose and short stipitate. Lamina tapering into the petiole. Scapes 1-4(-8), (1.5-)5-13 cm long, glandular-pubescent. Bracts leafy, 7-25 x12 mm, ovate to suborbiculate, irregularly dentate. Pedicels 14-25(-38) mm long, slender, usually exceeding the bracts, glandular-pubescent. Flowers heteromorphic or homomorphic and in superposed whorls of 2-5, yellow. Calyx 5-6 mm long, campanulate and up to 10 mm in fruit, glandular-pubescent. Lobes 4-6 mm long, ovate to sublanceolate, unequal, acute or subacuminate, green, slightly reflexed in fruit. Corolla tube exceeding the length of the calyx, pubescent on the outside; lobes obovate, 2-fid at the apex. Limb up to 20 mm broad, throat exannulate. Anthers c. 2 mm long, oblong. Style 4.5 mm long (in pin-eyed flowers up to 7.5 mm). Capsule subglobose to ovoid, included in the calyx. Seeds less than 0.5 mm long, angled, vesiculose, brownish-black.
Fl. Per.: April-June.
Holotype: Deyra Doon in April 1825, Wallich 604 (K-Wall.! iso. BM).
Distribution: E. Afghanistan and N.W. Himalaya from Kashmir to Kumaon, W. Nepal.
The type of Primula floribunda is not Wall. 610, as recorded in previous literature. Under no. 610 in Wallich's Numerical list are two specimens (nos. 610 a and 610 b), which were not collected by Wallich. However, in Wallich's List under No. 604, entered as ‘Primula floribunda’ is Deyra Doon’ 1825’ and the reference to Tent. Fl. Nep.; as this locality is cited by Wallich who also states that he found the species in ‘April 1825 at Deyra Doon’, his no. 604 is accepted here as the Type.
Not very common, usually found on limestone cliffs, rocks, near waterfalls, moist and shady places from 600-2600 m. The species is closely related to the Afghanese Primula edelbergii Schwartz (Primula floribunda subsp. occidentalis Wendelbo), from which it differs in the attenuate lamina (not abruptly so) and the longer glandular hairs (c.l mm long). The species is also related to the Arabian Primula verticellata Forssk., but differs in the glandular efarinose leaves and the shorter corolla tube. Commonly known as the Himalayan ‘cowslip’. A cultivated form (var. grandiflora Pax) with large and bright yellow flowers is mentioned by Pax (l.c. 36). The cultivated hybrid Primula kewensis W. Wats (Primula floribunda x Primula verticellata), is a vigorous tetraploid with the flowers arranged in 6-10 whorls. Blatter (l.c.22) states the flowers to be sweet smelling.