Primula reptans Hook. f. ex Watt, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 20: 14, pl. 13B 1882. (Syn. Primula stracheyi Hook. f. ex Munro);
 
Creeping Primrose;
 
Primula reptans is similar to P.minutissima forming mats of rosettes, but even smaller leaves without farina.
Flowers solitary pink purple with obcordate crolla lobes, deeply notched very well seen in your pictures. Leaves only 4-6mm deeply toothed and with recurved margin.
 
Primula minutissima and P. reptans can easily be distinguished based on the leaves and Nasir (1984) in Flora of Pakistan differentiate these as:
Leaves spathulate, crenulate, efarinose ………………….. P.reptans
Leaves lanceolate, denticulate to serrulate, farinose…….P. minutissima
 


 

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Primulaceae_Kashmir : 5 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (2).
Please find the pics from Kashmir which I had previously identified as Primula minutissima.

But of late, I doubt it may turn out to be Primula reptans.


Yes, it is Primula reptans, the leaves clearly show rounded shape with deeply toothed recurved margins.


I am pleased to say that … is correct, this is Primula reptans.  If you compare the foliage with that in the image from the Sach Pass you will notice the differences.


 

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Next I shall cover the entry for Primula reptans in this book, a plant known as the ‘Kashmir Creeping Primula’.
What caught my eye with the entry are three things.
Firstly, the claim that it is a rare taxon (it is no such things, growing abundantly in vast quantities in the wild in suitable habitat – Ludlow found it to be abundant in Kashmir where it grows in dense mats on rocks and steep stony hill slopes @ 3300-4200m) as appears from herbarium material.  The “inaccessible” habitat may be a reason for its poor representation in herbaria. Rubbish about “inaccessibility”.  It is found on the top of the Rohtang Pass which has been open to vehicles for many decades with numerous Indian botanists passing through!  I saw it growing in large quantity on the Rohtang when leading groups of plant enthusiasts (en route to Lahoul) in the mid-1980s – not as abundant as it was due to trampling by large numbers of Indian tourists especially riding ponies (weather permitting).   As to other locations this merely required treks to be undertaken (as I did on several occasions in Kashmir in the 1980s) where I found it in large quantities – hardly ‘inaccessible’!!
Secondly, in ‘Notes’ the authors state that ‘Apparently’ (without giving any source and I am blissfully unaware of this) P.reptans, P.minutissima, P.muscoides and P.flagellaris are identical and confused due to their condensed life forms. They then, superficially distinguish between P.reptans, P.flagellaris and P.muscoides (yet do not mention P.minutissima).
It is true that these species all belong to the same section MINUTISSIMAE and are similar.  Undoubtedly they have been mixed-up in the past incl. P.reptans and P.minutissima (oddly the authors do not mention P.heydei which they falsely restore as a separate species).
Please note, as I have explained before that a mistake was made in ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ – the photo 863 on Plate 82 labelled as P.reptans, is in fact, P.minutissima. Photo 304 in Plate 64 of The Supplement to Flowers of the Himalaya of P.minutissima is correctly identified, though not being close-up, it is hardier to distinguish the characteristics of its leaves.
As for P.flagellaris, Richards considers this to be a synonym of P.tenella. Some in the past have separated the two. Convenient that the authors are good at recognising or ‘restoring’ old taxa which have by relegated to synonomy…..
The authors then bring up, Primula stracheyi in a confusing way saying this creates “nomenclatural ambiguity” talking of the “proper” P.stracheyi (whatever that is) they have this as a synonym for both P.reptans and P.minutissima. Talk about creating a muddle!
I really cannot see the relevance of this, since they fail to speak of the confusion between P.reptans and P.minutissima (confusion which has existed with postings on eFI.
Thirdly, They examined a single specimen from Nepal, claiming it was recorded at ca. 18500′ (which they converted to 6200m, which if accurate, it is not, would represent the highest recorded flowering plant ever!
I have to say I have my doubts as to the records of P.reptans from Nepal at such higher altitudes than in the NW Himalaya (where it grows only to 4350m.  ‘Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal’ list it @ 5200-5700m.  I consider these specimens should be checked to confirm they really are P.reptans.
For some reason the line drawings of this species are reproduced much larger than most of the others. They look OK.
Going through the small number of specimens they examined of what they consider to be this species, one from Harmukh mentions “Kuihana forests” – P.reptans does not grow anywhere near forests! 
I have just corrected the other two entries on the site which were wrongly identified as P.reptans when they are in fact P.minutissima.
I think I had better post some of my own images of Primula reptans (which include good close-ups) to help clear up the confusion….
and later of Primula minutissima, the entry for in this book I shall comment on in due course.
Flowers do vary in colour and different people describe flower colours differently – complicated by what colours appear like in pressed specimens (as fresh flower colour note always noted in field notes). The authors say violet with off-white centre. Flowers of Himalaya says pale purple to pink. Coventry said blue-purple.  Ludlow comments on a specimen with dark violet flowers. 
I attach below a dozen images taken of Primula reptans on the Sinthan Pass, Kashmir.
I consider these (along with my images posted of Primula elliptica) superior to the pages of lengthy written descriptions within The Genus Primula….   a picture paints a thousands words, as they say.  Provided the images are in focus and where required close-up showing sufficient detail, someone viewing these is far better placed to identify these species of Primula in the Himalaya.
This is where eFI of Indian has the potential to play such an important role in the future and provided, in the years to come, photographers take good images of the important parts of the plants (not just one or two non-close shots of the flowers) it can become an invaluable reference source.
There still is a need and role for pressed specimens and herbaria but such places need to move with the times – as do revisions and floras….
I have seen Primula reptans growing in vast quantity in quite a number of places in Kashmir and on the Rohtang. To suggest it is any way rare or endangered is a nonsense.  Those saying so are COMPLETELY wrong and have never been up to the places where it grows.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to decide on rarity sat either in an office or even a herbarium!  IF those undertaking surveys do not trek extensively and scramble about on slopes or amongst rocks or boulders (not necessary for P.reptans) they will never know just how abundant most of the species which are FALSELY claimed to be rare, actually are.
MEANWHILE, what about the species in the Himalaya which are genuinely rare. They have been abandoned to their fate.
I REALLY care about conservation and plants plus their habitats.

Primula minutissima and P. reptans can easily be distinguished based on the leaves and Nasir (1984) in Flora of Pakistan differentiate these as:
Leaves spathulate, crenulate, efarinose ………………….. P.reptans
Leaves lanceolate, denticulate to serrulate, farinose…….P. minutissima
However, stunned by the beauty of flowers, often we forget to photograph leaves closely.


 

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Fwd: Botanizing in Kashmir Part III : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)

Not as adventurous this time but very cold on Nichinai Pass in the autumn en route to Vishensar Lake from Sonamarg then on to near Mt. Harmukh and Ganderbal.
Despite the temperature being well below zero, my British companion came out of his tent in shorts, first thing in the morning.  I by comparison, had a number of layers on!
1.  Trekking route to Nichinai Pass from Sonamarg
2.  Androsace mucronifolia growing on a boulder above Nichiani Pass
3.  Near Nichinai Pass with Primula rosea & Caltha palustris
4. Chris Chadwell camped on the Nichinai Pass below hanging glaciers – home to abundant Primula reptans & Saxifraga jacquemontiana
5. Chris Chadwell camped on the Nichinai Pass below hanging glaciers – home to abundant Primula reptans & Saxifraga jacquemontiana
6. Chris Chadwell’s colleague striding off from Nichinai Pass towards Vishensar in hail storm – our companion, a gardener from Srinagar, employed by P.Kohli & Co. was not happy, saying he thought he was going to “die of cold”.  His employers thought he could learn more about plants accompanying me on a trek but he was not cut out for the mountains fortunately, my guide, interpreter, cook and by then, friend, Ghulam Rasool Beigh most certainly was
7. Primula reptans, common in Kashmir incl. on Nichinai Pass
8. Saxifraga jacquemontiana, common in Kashmir incl. Nichinai Pass (Oleg Polunin)
9. Saxifraga jacquemontiana (at he fruiting stage) common in Kashmir incl. Nichinai (Oleg Polunin)


Thanks for sharing precious memories …

 

  

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