Northumberland Diary Discussion: 21 March 2011
Started by: Martin Rogerson
Diary 177 - European & Asiatic PrimulasGo to latest contribution by Jon Evans, 11 April 2011, 10:47. Go to bottom of this page.
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John, I was most interested while lurking in the background at East Lancs as judging finished to hear the discussion on European and Asiatic Primulas as opposed to strict geographic class rules and agreed with what was put forward but it leaves me with one difficult question. Is P. vulgaris ssp sibthorpii European or Asiatic in this context as, as far as I can tell, it bridges the continents in a strict geographic sense.
Forgive me if I've just thrown a large rock in a calm pool!
Yes, good one Martin. Well, I have to say both, that is P.vulgaris sibthorpii is one of very few primulas (P. elatior subspecies pseudoelatior and meyeri and P. nutans are the others that comes to mind) that is native to both continents (P. cuneifolia is native to Asia and America, but in different subspecies, as is P. tschuktchorum however). It is easy to think of section Primula (primroses, oxlips and the like) as a 'European' section, but primroses go almost to Afghanistan, cowslips to the Pacific, oxlips to the Altai, and there are more taxa in this section native to Asia than native to Europe. I think it is unavoidable that we can have a very few taxa that double for both continents. This is quite acceptable in other geographical classes, where e.g. Pulsatilla albana could double for Europe or Asia.
Did you have any views on the identity of the primula I photographed at Exeter (photo in the online discussion thread for that show), exhibited as Primula jaffreyana ?
Yes, I think thats OK Jon. In future, if you are looking for plentiful reliable images of Primula species (only, not cultivars), can I recommend the website Primulaworld run by Pam Eveleigh from Calgary? Its a fantastic resource of pictures and scholarship. I am copying a picture of P. jaffreyana from Tibet.