Primulas Rediscovered – P. bullata & P. bracteata

In June-July, 2014 Pam Eveleigh, David & Stella Rankin and Jens Nielsen went to Yunnan, China with the hopes of rediscovering Primula bullata in its type location. Already, in 2012, Jens had located Primula bracteata in its type location and the images he took spurred the three of us to undertake a study of Primula Section Bullatae. This trip would provide necessary field work to that study (Curtis's Bot. Mag., 2014, 31: t. 800.)

In 1883, Père Marie Delavay, a French missionary of Missions Etrangères de Paris (Society of Foreign Missions of Paris), crossed a low mountain range on his way between missions near Er'yuan, in Yunnan Province of China. Delavay had been convinced by botanist Adrien Franchet to collect botanical specimens for the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris and on this range he found two species of Primula, one of them higher up, P. bullata, and one in a gorge flanking the range, P. bracteata.
Our first task on the trip was to return to P. bracteata in the gorge and this we did, taking many images and making observations. It is quite unlike the plants that have been masquerading under this name in cultivation!
Gorge where P. bracteata is found
Research prior to our trip, lead us to believe that the type location for P. bullata, given as Hée Chan Men (meaning black gate or pass), was near the village of Nan Da Ping, but asking the villagers there turned up no knowledge of the place. It was by chance that we decided to explore the East side of the range while waiting to pick Jens up later at the airport in Dali. I was interested in P. malvacea var. alba which I thought could possibly be there, though I had slim hopes we would find it. We found ourselves up random back roads before deciding to turn back for Jens. Just at that turn around point was a house and nearby, a shepherd. This turned out to be Mr. Lu and he was adamant he knew where the pass was and that he had seen the plants we were looking for, after seeing photographs of P. forrestii, a related species with similar yellow flowers. The next day, we met again with Mr. Lu who took us up muddy roads to the top of the range and eventually a small gap in the pine forest with an outcrop of limestone coming out of the red earth. There we did find P. bullata and photographed it.

Mr. Lu with P. bullata
Hee Chan Men, location for P. bullata
The results of this study are given in this table and images will be updated in the Species Gallery soon.



Original name


Smith & Fletcher, 1946


Flora of China, 1996


Richards, Primula,2002  

Eveleigh, Nielsen & Rankin, 2014

bullatabullata

bullata

bullata

bullata var. bullata

rufa

bullata var. rufa

forrestii

forrestii

bullata var. bullata

forrestii

forrestii

forrestii

forrestii

bullata var. forrestii

redolens

redolens

forrestii

forrestii var. redolens

bullata var. forrestii

ulophylla

bracteata

bracteata

bracteata

bullata var. forrestii

bracteata

bracteata

bracteata

bracteata

bullata var. bracteata

pulvinata

bracteata

bracteata

bracteata

henrici

articulata

henrici

bracteata

henricia

henrici

tapeina

henrici

bracteata

henricia

henrici

pseudobracteata

henrici

bracteata

henricia

henrici

henrici

henrici

bracteata

henricia

henrici

coelata var. stenophylla

henrici

not listed

not listed

henrici

dubernardiana

dubernardiana

bracteata

dubernardiana­b

henrici

monbeigii

dubernardiana

bracteata

dubernardianab

henrici

coelata

bracteata

not listed

not listed

coelata

rockii

rockii

rockii

rockii

rockii

a Subsequently changed to bracteata subsp. henrici (The Alpine Gardener, 2005, 73: 401-463.)
­b Subsequently changed to bracteata subsp. dubernardiana.

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous5/08/2015

    thank for the update; looks like I get to change a label for P. forrestii

    M. Jensen

    ReplyDelete