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Stemless cowslip (Primula vulgaris hybrid)

Primula vulgaris ( Primula - vulgaris hybrids)

Nuclear eudicotyledons
Order : Heather-like (Ericales)
Family : Primrose Family (Primulaceae)
Subfamily : Primuloideae
Scientific name

The Primuloideae are a subfamily of the family of the Primrose (Primulaceae) in the order of the heather-like (Ericales) within the flowering plant . They can be found from the permafrost zone to the tropics ; However, their main distribution is in the northern temperate climate zone. Many species are used as ornamental plants . The medicinal effects of some species have been studied; the drug of some primrose species is called Primulae radix.

Description and ecology

Illustration of the flour primrose ( Primula farinosa ) with a basal rosette of leaves, a long inflorescence stem, dold-like inflorescence and five-fold flowers
Primula jeffreyi with the petals turned back

Vegetative characteristics

They are mostly perennial, rarely annual or rarely biennial, herbaceous plants . Some Androsace species are somewhat xerophytic . Some Primula species form rhizomes or stolons . Some Primula species with glandular hairs form a crystalline substance that envelops them in a floury form ( flour primrose ). Resin canals are present at Hottonia .

The leaves are alternate and spiral or opposite, often in basal rosettes or distributed on the stem, in Hottonia arranged in whorls ( phyllotaxis ). The stalked or sessile leaves are usually simple, pinnate in Hottonia . The leaf margins can be smooth, indented to toothed or ciliate. Stipules are missing.

Generative characteristics

The flowers are terminally solitary or in dold-like inflorescences mostly with bracts; an inflorescence stem can be formed. The hermaphroditic, radial symmetry flowers are usually four to five-fold and with a double flower envelope (perianth). The four to five green sepals are fused. The four to five petals are usually fused to one another ( sympetalie ) with a long to short corolla tube; in some taxa the petals are more or less deeply divided into two. There is only one (the inner) circle with mostly five free stamens , which can be fused at their base. The stamens are fused with the corolla tube on or above the middle. There are no staminodes . Five carpels are a einfächerigen, Upper permanent ovary grown. The few to many anatropic, bitegmic, tenuinucellate ovules are arranged in a free central placentation . The stylus ends in a mostly cephalic scar. Heterostyly is common ( Hottonia , Primula ). Pollination occurs by insects ( entomophilia ).

The flower formula is:

There are fruit capsules formed, containing (a to about 200), usually two to 100 seeds. The angular to rounded, brown or black seeds contain a lot of oily, starch-free endosperm and a straight embryo . An elaiosome is present in some Primula species . The seeds are dispersed by gravity, water, wind or ants.

Ingredients and chromosome numbers

There are cucurbitacins present. The triterpene saponins of some primrose species are used as expectorants . Many primrose species produce the benzoquinone derivative primin as glandular secretion , which can cause skin irritation on contact.

The basic chromosome numbers are n = 8–12.

The cushion -forming species
Androsace bryomorpha with solitary, only short-stalked flowers
The aquatic plant water feather ( Hottonia palustris )
Inflorescence of Soldanella carpatica with a relatively long shaft inflorescence


The subfamily Primuloideae was set up in 1834 by Vincenz Franz Kosteletzky in General Medical-Pharmaceutical Flora , 3, p. 986.

The scope of the Primulaceae family has long been debated, sometimes very broad or very narrow. Now a very broad conception of the family seems to prevail through a summary of morphological and molecular biological data. The family of the Primulaceae thereby receives the extent of the earlier order of the Primulales. The Primulaceae s. l. are divided into four subfamilies. The subfamily of the Primuloideae corresponds exactly to the extent of the last the Primulaceae s. st. exhibited. Molecular biological data show that the genus Primula is not monophyletic in its earlier extent and that the species of the earlier genera Dodecatheon , Cortusa , Sredinskya and Dionysia belong to the greatly expanded genus Primula with six subgenera and many sections. The same investigations showed that the species of the earlier genera Pomatosace and Douglasia are to be placed in the genus Androsace with several sections. So the number of genera was reduced. The other possibility would have been to split the genera Androsace and Primula into many smaller genera.

The subfamily Primuloideae today only includes six to nine, previously up to twelve genera with around 900 species:

  • Mannsschild ( Androsace L. ): It used to contain about 100 species (73 of them in China); including the genera Douglasia Lindl. , Vitaliana Sesl. today it contains about 160 species in North America, including northwestern Mexico and Eurasia , mainly in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere.
  • Bryocarpum Hook. f. & Thomson : It contains only one type:
  • Water feathers ( Hottonia L. ): The two types of water plants are common in the temperate areas of the USA and Europe.
  • Kaufmannia rule : it contains only one or two species; they occur in Central Asia.
  • Omphalogramma (Franch.) Franch. : The approximately 13 species are distributed in the eastern Himalayas, western China (nine species) and northern Myanmar .
  • Pomatosace Maxim. (sometimes in Androsace L. ): It contains only one species:
    • Pomatosace filicula Maxim. : It thrives at altitudes of 2800 to 4500 meters in Tibet , in eastern Qinghai and in northwestern Sichuan.
  • Primroses ( Primula L. ): It used to contain about 490 species; up to about 600 species, today including the genera Cortusa L. , Dionysia Fenzl , Dodecatheon L. They are widespread from North, Central and South America, in Eurasia and Ethiopia as well as Oman , mainly in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. There are only a few species in tropical Asia (Java and Sumatra).
  • Alpine bells ( Soldanella L. ): The 10 to 15 species occur in the European mountains: Alps , Apennines , Carpathians , Pyrenees and the Balkans .


  • The subfamily of the Primuloideae on the AP website (sections systematics and description).
  • Anita F. Cholewa, Sylvia Kelso: Primulaceae , p. 257 - online with the same text as the printed work . In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (Ed.): Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 8: Paeoniaceae to Ericaceae. Oxford University Press, New York / Oxford 2009, ISBN 978-0-19-534026-6 (Description section).
  • Ludwig Martins, Christoph Oberprieler, Frank H. Hellwig: A phylogenetic analysis of Primulaceae sl based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) DNA sequence data. In Plant Systematics and Evolution. Volume 237, 2003, pp. 75-85.

Individual evidence

  1. Data sheet ( Memento of the original from May 25, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. the University of Greifswald. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Profile of the University of Ulm.
  3. a b c Ida Trift, Mari Källersjö, Arne A. Anderberg: The Monophyly of Primula (Primulaceae) Evaluated by Analysis of Sequences from the Chloroplast Gene rbcL . In: Systematic Botany . tape 27 , no. 2 , 2002, p. 396-407 , JSTOR : 3093879 ( - abstract). doi : 10.1043 / 0363-6445-27.2.396 (currently not available)
  4. Primuloideae in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  5. Gerald M. Schneeweiss, Peter Schönswetter, Sylvia Kelso, Harald Niklfeld: Complex Biogeographic Patterns in Androsace (Primulaceae) and Related Genera: Evidence from Phylogenetic Analyzes of Nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacer and Plastid trnL-F Sequences . In: Systematic Biology . tape 53 , no. 6 , 2004, ISSN  1076-836X , p. 856-876 , doi : 10.1080 / 10635150490522566 .
  6. ^ David John Mabberley: Mabberley's Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses . 3. Edition. Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-521-82071-4 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  7. Qiming Hu, Sylvia Kelso: Pomatosace Maximowicz - online with the same text as the printed work , In: Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven, Deyuan Hong (ed.): Flora of China. Volume 15: Primulaceae. Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing and St. Louis 2010, ISBN 978-1-930723-91-7 .
  8. NK Kovtonyuk, AA Goncharov: Phylogenetic relationships in the genus Primula L. (Primulaceae) inferred from the ITS region sequences of nuclear rDNA . In: Russian Journal of Genetics . tape 45 , no. 6 , June 2009, ISSN  1022-7954 , p. 663-670 , doi : 10.1134 / S1022795409060052 .

Web links

Commons : Primuloideae  - collection of images, videos and audio files