Full name and orig. publication: Primulina Hance, J. Bot. 21: 169 (June 1883).

Etymology: Named for the similarity with Primula, the primrose.

Synonyms: -

Infrafamilial position: Didymocarpoid Gesneriaceae - "Advanced Asiatic and Malesian genera" (Weber 2004).

Description: Perennial rosette herbs. Leaves with undulate-winged petiole, lamina ovate-suborbicular, lobed at margins, upper surface puberulous, lower surface puberulous and glandular hairy. Cymes with peduncle equalling or slightly shorter than leaves, umbellate, 3-7-flowered; bracteoles narrowly ovate. Sepals free, lanceolate. Corolla purple, salverform, lobes ovate-orbicular, rounded. Stamens 2; filaments inserted above base of corolla tube, anthers connivent; staminodes absent. Nectary with two subquadrangular lobes. Ovary ovoid, style short, stigma bifid. Capsule ellipsoid, loculicidally dehiscent to base.

Chromosome number: Unknown.

Type and only species: Primulina tabacum Hance

Species names (incl. publication and synonyms): See Skog, L.E. & J.K. Boggan. 2005: World checklist of Gesneriaceae:

Distribution: S China (N Guangdong).

Ecology: Rocks and riverside cliffs, 100-300m.

Notes: The glandular leaves are said to give off a strong smell of tobacco.

Selected references: Hook. f., Bot. Mag. t. 7117 (1890); Wang et al. in Wu & Raven (eds.), Fl. China 18: 310-311 (1998).

Bibliography: See Skog, L.E. & J.K. Boggan. 2005. Bibliography of the Gesneriaceae. 2nd edition:


Primulina tabacum Hance, only species

Left: Ying et al., Endem. gen. seed pl. China, Fig. 122 (1993); with permission. 
Right: Bot. Mag. t. 7117 (1883).

Primulina tabacum Hance

Cult. RBG Edinburgh, phot. A. Weber (2002).

Primulina tabacum Hance

Cult. RBG Edinburgh, phot. A. Weber (2002).


last modified: 2007-07-13