Primula reidii Duthie, Rep. Saharamp. Bot. Gard. 30 1885.;
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Reid’s Primrose;
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Ivory white bell shaped nodding, fragrant, in compact umbel of 3-10 pendant flowers, with broad notched lobes.
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VoF Week : Primula reidii:  Name of species : Primula reidii

Family : Primilaceae
Habit : Herb (hairy)
Habitat : Hill slope, open forest
Date of click : 14th Aug`12
Location: Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand.
Abundance : Single sighting.

I love Primulas.

I have some bad pic of these from lower part of Hem Kunt trail.


Correctly identified. Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m.  Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.



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VOF Week: Primula reidii at VOF:  Sharing few photographs of Primula reidii. (Family: Primulaceae).
Location: VOF.


I was just wondering if nobody caught this one. Wonderful shots!


Lovely photos. Correctly identified. Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m.  Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.


Thanks again for sharing your excellent photos of this exquisite Primula – it is hard to get the exposure correct when photographing white flowers especially as this species, at least in the NW Himalaya often inhabits shady spots, when the contrast between light and dark is extreme. Bravo.
I think it is worth drawing attention to the fact that Primula reidii is not described in the book ‘The Valley’. At that time is was misidentified as Primula wigramiana– which is in fact ENDEMIC to Central Nepal!
At least to the best of our current knowledge.
IN ALL SCIENTIFIC ENDEAVOURS, THAT IS THE BEST ANYONE CAN EVER SAY.  THE SITUATION CAN CHANGE.
We all need to be open to change.  ‘Conventional Wisdoms’ must not be blindly accepted – they too often prove to be wrong.
The term ‘Endemic’ is over-used, partly because it SOUNDS dramatic and impresses (often falsely) non-scientists.  In part this is down to a
lack of knowledge of the distribution and abundance of all species of plants in e.g. a given district, state or region.  If botanists in one country
or state do not know what grows in the bordering one, how can they be sure something is ONLY found in their country or state?
Returning to ‘The Valley of Flowers’.  A white-flowered Primula was seen, “…I was about to turn back when in a moist, mossy place under some rocks above me, watered by a tiny spring, I saw a gleam of pure white.  I scrambled up the slope and came face to face with one of the most beautiful little Primulas (P.Wigramiana) I have ever seen.  There were a score or more together nestling amid cushions of bright green moss.  They were white, with a soft butterfly-bloom on their petals, and they shone out of that shadowed place like stars fallen to earth.  I had not seen this Primula before…
BUT this was NOT Primula wigramiana. As Nasir in ‘Primulaceae’ for Flora of Pakaistan correctly states Primula reidii is related to P.wigramiana which is a large plant with an exannulate corolla. In ‘Primula’ (Richards) the two species are distinguished on the basis of P.reidii having stalked leaves & notched corolla lobes whereas P.wigramiana has stalkless leaves & toothed corolla lobes (there are other differences). They both belong to the Soldanelloides Section of the genus.
Note that in this book there is a Supplementary List of plants collected (as herbarium specimens) by Holdsworth in the Bhyundar Valley and what was known at that time as ‘Upper Garwhal’ in 1931 & observed or not collected in 1937 but not written about in the book. The list includes Primula rotundifolia – which presumably must have been misidentified as that species is not recorded from what is now Uttarakhund.  Or perhaps … has found it in more recent times?  IF this was a misidentification, I do not know what it was mistaken for?  NO doubt a specimen exists in a herbarium somewhere, which can shed light on this mystery but I have not seen it.
You came across Primula reidii in the VOF, where it was already known to occur. In Himachal Pradesh it is undoubtedly under-recorded. I myself, went past (albeit in a vehicle) a colony on the Rohtang several times before I spotted it.  Even in flower, it is easy to miss.  One needs to know likely habitat and inspect such places carefully.   Subsequently, I have observed it in several other places on the Rohtang – it was always there, just undetected.
With so many plants in the mountains, unless one reaches and checks out suitable habitat, it is impossible to judge how abundant or rare species are.  I have not seen nor know of colonies of P.reidii on the top of the Rohtang Pass.
White-flowered Primulas are of significance in Tibetan Medicine. Staff from Men-Tsee-Khang (His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute, Dharamsala) regularly visit Rohtang conducting classes in plant identification for student amchis (doctor’s of traditional medicine). They had not realised Primula reidii was to be found on the Rohtang.
Thankfully, given where this Primulas grows, it is not currently under threat on the Rohtang, so in some way, long may it remain ‘invisible’ to most!  But generally-speaking it is better for us to known the habitats for every species and their GENUINE rarity or abundance but we rarely do with Himalayan plants – the only way we will is for more extensive FIELD surveys and observations to take place.  If species which are actually common are claimed to be ‘rare & endangered’, those which are actually rare will continue to be “abandoned”.  I personally care deeply about the plants, environments (without habitats there are no plants or animals for that matter, which receive a disproportionate amount of attention) and the peoples of the Himalaya.
Here is where members of this google-group including non-botanists/plant enthusiasts who have the opportunity to explore in the Himalaya – whether in the foothills or higher altitudes, can contribute so much, by ‘capturing’ images of as many species as they can, on their cameras but then they need to be correctly and reliably identified.
Today’s compact digital cameras have such potential to revolutionise the study of plants but not everyone (incl. some senior botanists) appreciate this potential.  To be fair, and I shall use an English expression, “The penny only dropped” for more the past couple of years as to just what could be achieved if this is embraced fully.  So I have very much become an advocate of this – one of the reasons I have joined and am contributing a lot to the group (for as long as circumstances permit).
I am reminded of the exceptional late Prem Nath Kohli (who mostly lived in Kashmir) a forestry ranger turned horticulturist and conservationist (very much a ‘field’ botanists and research scholar) who almost a century ago now, SHOT plants and animals on his camera rather than go shooting animals with guns, which was common practise amongst Forestry staff at that time. He was writing articles and expressing concerns about the conservation of plants and animals decades before it became fashionable to do so. Let us all follow his fine example.

Thanks, … for expressing your views… I really appreciate your efforts and contribution to this group.. Thanks once again..


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VOF Week: Primula reidii from way to Valley: Primula reidii….(Primulaceae) a tiny beautiful herb was was shot on way to VOF on August 14, 2012…


Correctly identified.  Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m. Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.



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VoF Week: Primula reidii from Valley:
Primula reidii from Valley

i love these white flowers, All your pic are Incredible  


Very beautiful flower … I think you got this at the end of Valley of Flowers.


Correctly identified.  Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m.  Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.



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Primula reidii |Valley of Flowers National Park: Primula reidii
Primulaceae

Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand
August 2012

Please note : Though this pic was already uploaded during the VoF week, I am just posting it for the reason of showing flowers and leaves in collage image.


Correctly identified.  Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m.  Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.


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Plumbaginaceae and Primulaceae (incl. Myrsinaceae) Fortnight: Primulaceae- Primula reidii at VOF ::-PKA16: : 7 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (5).
Sharing few photographs of Primula reidii. (Family: Primulaceae).
Location: VOF.

Yes beautiful nodding alpine beauty on moist shady slopes.


Very beautiful indeed.. I am happy I could see this, thanks for sharing


Very nice to see the flowers of Primula reidii
Ivory white bell shaped nodding, fragrant, in compact umbel of 3-10 pendant flowers, with broad notched lobes.

Correctly identified.  Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m.  Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.



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Plumbaginaceae and Primulaceae (Incl. Myrsinaceae) Fortnight- Primula reidii from Hemkunt Sahib :: NS June 18 : 5 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5).
This beautiful, delicate herb was shot from near Hemkunt Sahib in Uttrakhand, I hope this is Primula reidii


Primula reidii


Very good illustration


Correctly identified.  Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m.  Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.



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Primulaceae_Primula reidii_Kashmir : 4 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1).
A rare species of Primula in Kashmir in high alpines…

I have identified it as Primula reidii ????


Excellent photograph …


Correctly identified.  Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m.  Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.
Pity no location or altitude provided.

Further to my recent post. Have just checked with ‘The Primluas of Kashmir’ by Frank Ludlow. He states that this dainty little species was first discovered by Duthie in Garwhal in 1883. The following year he came across it in Kumaon and after that it was found in the Kulu Valley & Chamba.
It was unrecorded from Kashmir until Ludlow & Sherriff found it near the Sinthan Pass in July 1937 in rock crevices @ 3300m. In 1943 they also found it south of the Pir Panjal Range in the Bangar Valley in the district of Kishtwar again growing on a rock face.
More precisely their field notes say “amongst moss under boulders or in clefts of rocks, very fragrant”.
May I repeat that I think it almost certainly occurs in other locations in Kashmir and elsewhere but requires the field botanist to check such places – it is easy to pass them by assuming nothing is there, particularly when this Primula is not in flower or at the fruiting stage. Thus it may prove more widespread than currently recognised. As with many plants in the mountains whether at 3300m or much higher, they will only be recorded if they are looked for which requires scrambling about amongst cliffs & boulders (care needs to be taken to avoid slipping on rock which often is wet).  Unless this is done, often large colonies of species are missed. To falsely suggest such species are rare let alone endangered is not just misleading but utterly false. Because such species are poorly represented or not represented in Indian herbaria is no indication of their rarity. If such habitats have not been surveyed then how can anyone claim rarity or abundance….

Until it is empirically proved that this Primula is quite abundant, the available data suggests its RARE collection and expected rarity. This is the scientific method employed here in Himalayas, but elsewhere in so-called “developed” world.
Anyway, there are many examples of such plants in our higher alpines being ‘plundered’ by the commercial botanists/naturalists…….



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Primula reidii Duthie photographed in Khalya alpine meadow Munsyari, Pithoragarh) in July 2015.
The species often grow in moist shady areas.

Very beautiful !! have seen near Hemkunt Sahib, also in Valley of flowers, but I could not record good pictures, thanks … for sharing this uncommon species of alpine meadows..


Correctly identified. Stunning white or ivory flowers; calyx mealy. Soldanelloides Section of genus. Rare in Kashmir (at least rarely recorded) but quite common in Kulu – if you know where to look, so perhaps more widespread in Kashmir than realised? Recorded from what was Garwhal, Kumoan through to West Central Nepal. Rock ledges & peaty banks @ 3300-4500m. Mostly in deep shade in Kulu Valley.


Just spotted, whilst inspecting the entry for Primula reidii, that the authors are perpetuating the FALSE information from Naithani (Flora of Chamoli Vol 2, Botanical Survey of India) relying on ‘The Valley of Flowers’ book by Smythe.  Smythe was a mountaineer not a botanist.  The book contains lists of plants seen and mentioned in the text but a number have proven to be misidentifications including Primula wigramiana – which is widely known to be an endemic to Central Nepal.
It seems the author attach greater importance to a non-botanical book which is 80 years old, than today’s authorities!
What nonsense. Presumably the plant mistaken for P.wigramiana was P.reidii (which was not not listed in VoF book).
How can this book represent a serious revision if such mistakes are not explained…..  Trying to pretend yet another Primula is found in Indian territory?
I note that Primula rotundifolia was in a Supplementary List within the VoF book, collected by the botanist on the mountaineering trip Smythe, named Holdsworth, was on which led to the VoF book. There seems to have been a certain subsequent rivalry between the two into the subsequent publication of books. Everyone knows of Smythe, yet Holdsworth was the one passionate about flowers – Smythe’s interest was only aroused subsequently.
Is this the incorrect source of the claim P.rotundifolia is found in Uttarakhand, though claim P.rotundifolia is found in Jammu & Kashmir,
Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand but specimen were not available. Presumably because they are not found in these areas!!  I will cover P.rotundifolia in due course….
Let me just say that Hooker in FBI records P.rotundifolia from Kashmir. Are the authors following Hooker?  FBI is a 19th century work!  Ludlow rightly points out there are no herbarium specimens to support this claim and according to subsequent experts it is not found West of Nepal.  Certainly, Ludlow & Sherriff, despite extensive travels, never saw P.rotundifolia.


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Flowers from Valley, Uttaranchal26/7/08.  Valley of flowers – indiantreepix | Google Groups


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