Some Primula species spend the winter as conspicuous, above ground resting buds. The mature leaves die back in autumn and a new set of short leaves called bud-scales are grown closely together to form a protective layer around the growth point. These bud-scales are modified leaves that stay small, never growing to become normal leaves, and they often remain around the base of the plant through the growing season. The presence of absence of the bud scales can be an identifying feature to distinguish between species of Primula, such as small forms of Primula denticulata (with bud-scales) and Primula atrodentata (without bud-scales).
Primula magellanica in autumn, leaves dying back and resting bud forming
Primula agleniana in spring, bud scales still surround the new leaves and flowers
Primula denticulata in late spring, bud scales lie flat as the growth point expands with new leaves and flowers
Added new images: P. bhutanica, P. whitei, P. denticulata, P. sessilis, P. filipes, P. pulchra, P. carolinehenryae, P. glandulifera, P. caveana, P. concinna, P. dickieana, P. hookeri, P. listeria, P. megalocarpa, P. walshii, P. wollastonii, P. aureate.
Added new information: P. hubeiensis, P. macrocarpa, P. undulifolia, P. wawushanica, P. persimilis, P. cavaleriei, P. lithophila, P. tsiangii, P. scopulicola, P. biserrata, P. hunanensis, P. calyptrata.
If you have photographs of Primula in the wild, please consider contacting the webmaster for identifications and for possible inclusion in the Species Gallery. See the Image Submissions page for more details.