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.
Herbs perennial [annual], (evergreen and semiwoody in P. suffrutescens), rarely mat-forming (P. suffrutescens; sometimes stoloniferous in P. nutans), slightly to moderately succulent. Rhizomes present, roots fibrous. Stems (scapes) ascending, simple. Leaves in single rosette (multiple rosettes in P. suffrutescens), simple; petiole absent or obscure, winged or not; blade linear, broadly lanceolate, oblanceolate, oblong-obovate, rhombic, or elliptic to cuneate or spatulate, base tapered or rounded and abruptly narrowed, margins entire, dentate, or denticulate, apex toothed, acute, obtuse, rounded, or spatulate, surfaces glabrous or rarely hairy (P. veris), hairs simple. Inflorescences umbels, 2-25+-flowered, involucrate, [racemes or spikes] or solitary flowers; bracts 1-5. Pedicels erect, spreading, arching, nodding, arcuate, or slightly reflexed. Flowers often heterostylous, sometimes homostylous; sepals 5, green, calyx broadly campanulate to cylindric or urceolate, ± 5-angled, weakly keeled or not keeled, glabrous, pilose, or puberulent, lobes not reflexed, length 0.5-1 times tube; petals 5, lavender, magenta, pink, rose, violet, white, or yellow [red], corolla campanulate, lobes not reflexed, length 1-2 times tube, apex rounded; stamens included; filaments distinct; anthers connivent. Capsules globose, cylindric, or ellipsoid, valvate, dehiscent to 1/3 length. Seeds 10-100+, brown, ovoid or oblong, somewhat 4-angled, reticulate or vesiculate. x = [8,] 9, [10,] 11, .
"Cal campanulate to tubular, 5-lobed, persistent; cor funnelform or salverform, the tube longer than the cal (in our spp.), the lobes retuse or 2-lobed; stamens included, borne on the cor-tube; filaments very short; capsule 5-valved at the tip; scapose perennials, the often large and showy fls in a terminal umbel or head, or in successive whorls on the lfless scape, and subtended by small or leafy bracts. 200, N. Hemisphere.In addition to the following spp., P. veris L., the English cowslip, with yellow fls and somewhat inflated cal, occasionally escapes in the n. part of our range."
SELECTED REFERENCES Fernald, M. L. 1928d. Primula sect. Farinosae in America. Rhodora 30: 59-77. Guggisberg, A., G. Mansion, S. Kelso, and E. Conti. 2006. Evolution of biogeographic patterns, ploidy levels, and breeding systems in a diploid-polyploid species complex of Primula. New Phytol. 171: 617-632. Halda, J. J. 1992. The Genus Primula in Cultivation and the Wild. Denver. Kelso, S. 1987. Primula tschuktschorum and Primula eximia (Primulaceae, sect. Crystallophlomis): A distylous species and its homostylous relative from the Bering Strait region, Alaska. Brittonia 39: 63-72. Kelso, S. 1991. Taxonomy of Primula sects. Aleuritia and Armerina in North America. Rhodora 93: 67-99. Kelso, S. 1991b. Taxonomy and biogeography of Primula sect. Cuneifolia (Primulaceae) in North America. Madroño 38: 37-44. Richards, A. J. 2003. Primula, ed. 2. Portland. Smith, W. W., G. Forrest, and H. R. Fletcher. 1977. The Genus Primula. Vaduz. [Pl. Monogr. Repr. 11.] Williams, L. O. 1936. Revision of the western primulas. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 17: 744-748.
|Primrose [Latin primus, first, and -ulus, diminutive alluding to early spring blooming]|