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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Thomas J. Rosatti & Sylvia Kelso

Perennial herb or subshrub, from rhizome, stolon, or caudex, glabrous or glandular-hairy. Leaf: blade entire or toothed. Flower: erect to spreading or nodding; generally homostylous; sepals erect or reflexed in flower, erect in fruit, persistent; corolla salverform or funnel-shaped with well-developed tube, including anthers, and erect to spreading, notched lobes, or rotate with very short tube, prominently exerted anthers, and reflexed, entire lobes, proximally white and/or yellow and/or dark purple, distally white, lavender, pink, or purple; filaments generally very short, including anthers free, oblong, exerted anthers on generally wide, often fused filaments, erect, generally ± lanceolate, generally ± adherent into a cone around style; ovary superior, style slender, ± exserted beyond anthers, stigma head- or dot-like. Fruit: ± 5-valved or circumscissile, ovoid or oblong-ovoid to cylindric.
± 470 species: generally northern temperate. (Latin: diminutive of first, from early flower) [Mast & Reveal 2007 Brittonia 59:79–82] Dodecatheon, a monophyletic taxon closest to Primula subg. Auriculastrum, recently treated in that subg. as sect. Dodecatheon (Mast & Reveal 2007); taxa treated in Dodecatheon in TJM2 treated in Primula here. Polyploid group; species often intergrade; "anther connective" refers to tissue between pollen sacs, especially near base; dehiscence must be determined on fruit that has aged and dried naturally, because e.g., green fruit of circumscissile taxa (e.g., Primula clevelandii) sometimes split longitudinally as a result of pressing and thereby may appear valved.
Unabridged references: [Thompson 1953 Contr Dudley Herb 4:73–154; Mast et al. 2004 Amer J Bot 91: 926–942]

Key to Primula

1. Corolla lobes spreading or erect, rounded; anthers free; leaf 1.5–3.5 cm; heterostylous ..... P. suffrutescens

1' Corolla lobes reflexed, generally acute; anthers ± adherent into a cone; leaf (2)12–30 cm; homostylous

2. Stigma enlarged (>> style in width); anther connective wrinkled, dark maroon to black; filaments < 1.5 mm, free or joined by thin membrane but not fused into tube

3. Corolla tube generally covering anther bases; flower parts in 5s; anther tips acute; plant densely glandular-hairy ..... P. fragrans

3' Corolla tube not covering anther bases; flower parts in 4s or 5s; anthers tips truncate to obtuse; plant glabrous to glandular-hairy

4. Leaf 9–50 cm, linear-oblanceolate to oblanceolate; stem glandular-hairy; inflorescence glandular-hairy; flower parts in 4s or 5s; fruit circumscissile or with valves, sometimes both on 1 plant ..... P. jeffreyi

4' Leaf 2–20 cm, linear to linear-oblanceolate; stem glabrous; inflorescence glabrous to ± glandular-hairy; flower parts in 4s; fruit with valves ..... P. tetrandra

2' Stigma ± not enlarged (± = style in width); anther connectives smooth or wrinkled, yellow or dark; filaments 1–4 mm, fused into tube, or < 1.5 mm, free

5. Anther connectives smooth (to longitudinally wrinkled when dry); fruit circumscissile or with valves

6. Corolla lobe generally 9–14 mm, magenta to lavender; roots white, without bulblets; fruit with valves ..... P. pauciflora

6' Corolla lobe generally 5–9 mm, magenta to white; roots ± red, with many bulblets; fruit circumscissile ..... P. subalpina (2)

5' Anther connectives transversely wrinkled; fruit circumscissile

7. Leaf blade generally tapered to petiole, length generally > 2.5 × width; filament tube > 2 mm; connective dark, smooth or obscurely wrinkled (if leaf narrowed abruptly to petiole, then filament tube < 1.5 mm, connective dark, generally smooth)

8. Anther 5–9 mm, filament 0.5–1.5 mm, free or fused into tube; corolla lobe generally 7–20 mm ..... P. conjugens

8' Anther 3–4 mm, filament 2–3.5 mm, fused into tube; corolla lobe generally 5–9 mm ..... P. subalpina (2)

7' Leaf blade generally narrowed abruptly to petiole, length generally < 2.5 × width; filament tube 1–4 mm; connective dark, generally wrinkled

9. Leaf blade length generally < 2 × width; filament tube generally < 3 mm wide; root bulblets present at flower ..... P. hendersonii

9' Leaf blade length generally > 2 × width; filament tube generally 3–4 mm wide; root bulblets 0 ..... P. clevelandii

10. Anther connectives yellow; filament tube without yellow or white spot below each anther, sometimes all yellow ..... var. clevelandii

10' Anther connectives maroon to black; filament tube with or without yellow or white spot below each anther

11. Filament tube without yellow or white spot below each anther ..... var. insularis

11' Filament tube with yellow or white spot below each anther

12. Anther dark red, black, or generally yellow, tip acute to obtuse ..... var. gracilis

12' Anther generally dark purple, tip obtuse to notched ..... var. patula


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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