Primula elliptica Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts. 311, pl. 76, f. 2 1836. (Syn: Primula spathulacea Jacquem. ex Duby);
NE. Pakistan to W. Himalaya as per POWO;
Common name: Elliptic-Leaf Primrose


Primula_kashmir : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2).
Please confirm the ID as Primula ellipticus (Gulmarg Kashmir, 3700 m)

Very nice photograph by … I believe that the flowers resemble to Primula repatans needs further investigation

This species is P. elliptica and it is purly endemic to Western Himalaya. The type locality is Kashmir. This species is closely similar with the P. rosea, but differs in the leaf shape, the deeper leaf serrations, the larger petioles, and the colour of the flower. The type specimen is deposited in DD (FRI herbarium, Dehradun). Please also check the flora of Pakistan for details description. Link is mention below.
Important link

This is Primula elliptica – please note the correct spelling. It is common on high alpine meadows in Kashmir @ 3300-4200m. I found it on
Sinthan Pass on my last visit to Kashmir a few years ago. It belongs to the OREOPHLOMIS section of the genus (previously Farinosae) along with
Primula rosea.
The flowers do not resemble Primula reptans known as the ‘Kashmir Creeping Primula’ which belongs to MINUTISSIMAE section of the genus, along with the similar Primula minutissima, which at times are mixed-up.  Even Polunin & Stainton got it wrong in ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ – the photo labelled as P.reptans photographed in Kulu Valley is in fact P.minutissima.  The photo of P.minutissima in the ‘Supplement’ to ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ is correctly identified.
Whilst I am mentioning P.minutissima it is long over-due that P.heydei recognised, falsely by Hooker in ‘Flora of British India’ as a separate species, is just a variant of P.minutissima.


Plant_Kashmir : 7 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (5)
Please help in ID of the plant.
Picture taken at Vishen Sar (alpine), Sonamarg, Kashmir.

Probably Primula elliptica (Primulaceae) based on leaves.

cant see flowers clearly

It is a Primula species. But unable to identify the species in to species level. due to poor quality of photographs. If you have good photographs having high resolution, Please attached. I will try my best.

Yes, this is Primula elliptica. 

Yes, the lack of close-up images make this more difficult but I agree with Pam Eveleigh that this is Primula elliptica – I found this plant near to Vishensar Lake in Kashmir in the 1980s. See my comments about the other posting of this species on this site




Let me cover accounts of individual species, beginning with those I am most familiar with from the NW Himalaya and borderlands of Western Tibet. These will help highlight the numerous errors.
Such mistakes for quite a number of species does not inspire confidence in the accounts for the species I am less familiar with!
One of the problems relying on specimens in herbaria is that those observing them who are not experts on the genus or familiar with species from a particular region are likely to trust the identification given on the herbarium sheet. This may not be a reliable DETERMINATION. I have seen misidentified Primulas in an Indian herbarium and suspect this is the case in others. What follows below appears to be an example of this.
Primula elliptica
What first caught my eye, familiar as I am with the foliage of this species, that the plant illustrated in Fig. 91 Ludlow & Sherriff 7861 is obviously NOT Primula elliptica!! Nothing like it whatsoever. Oh dear…..
Members can compare images: efi thread 1; efi thread 2. There was some confusion with P.reptans.
Flowers of Himalaya (which only has very brief, summarised descriptions) describe the leaves as having a sharply toothed blade – all very well having lengthy descriptions (which typically run to a full page of this revision) if they are incorrect or refer to misidentified specimens! Has always been a question of quality not quantity.
The descriptions of species in the ‘Flora of the British Isles’ (1962) do not run to the length of the Primula descriptions in this book and are more than adequate.  As for the ‘New Flora of the British Isles’ the descriptions are much briefer than the ‘old’ flora.
Next we come to Habitat. I attach considerable importance to these.  Many floras are dry and academic being of limited use to most people.  Also, we cannot understand a species unless with know where it grows. I don’t know where the authors got the idea that this is typically a species growing in the cracks of rock faces near waterfalls?  I have never seen the species in such a habitat – I am not saying it never grows there but it is not in my experience (or that of others) where one finds this species and my field experience of it is second-to-none.  Flowers of Himalaya say rocks & alpine slopes but this is not the same as beside waterfalls (some species of Primula do typically inhabit such places).  Nasir says on moist hill slopes or near melting snow.  Ludlow (who would have come across this plant many times) says moist hill slopes and moss-covered rocks. Stewart says common on alpine meadows in Kashmir. No mention of waterfalls at all!
Extraordinarily, the authors claim this species is close to Primula obtusifolia.   What utter rubbish.  Nothing like it whatsoever – the latter species belongs to a different section.   Perhaps they think so because they have misidentified it?  I am troubled by such a comparison – either they have misidentified P.obtusifolia (which quite a few have) or do not know much about Primulas.  I question the credibility of the authors which such a statement.
Altitudinal range in important. They say 3344m (what an extraordinarily precise figure) to 5000m.  Ludlow says 3000-4200m.  Nasir says 3300-4877m.  Flowers of Himalaya says 3600-4300m.  Stewart says 3300-4200m. I am suspicious of the records near to 5000m.  Are these misidentifications, I wonder?    None of the specimens they examined are from 5000m and even when 4800m is mentioned it is from specimens collected between say 4200-4800m which does not necessarily mean the specimen was collected from the upper limit or that the person who collected it knew the altitudinal range.
Distribution: They say Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand but I find these of limited value for a revision, one needs to know which districts and their climatic considerations.  In J&K, it is not found in Jammu but the main Kashmir Valley.  Is it found in Ladakh/Tibetan borderlands?  They do not say or do not appreciate its significance?  Fls of Himalaya say Pakistan to Uttarkhand. They mention Pakistan and list specimens examined.  It would have been helpful to say which parts of Pakistan (which have vastly different climates).
Occrrence e.g. very common, common, local, rare – no mention of this but how would the authors know based just on herbarium specimens.  yet the presence or absence of collections in recent decades appears sufficient to decide whether a species gets in the ‘Red List’ or is classified as ‘Rare & Endangered’) – no mention of this.  Yet the authors said they were going to provide information of ‘spread’ (I do not know what this means), ‘confinement’ (I think I know what this means), endemism, as well as rare, threatened and endangered, yet how can they tell this just from herbarium specimens, most of which have almost zero information on their labels!  Impossible….
Local abundance: e.g. dominant, abundant, frequent, occasional – but how would the authors know this from herbarium specimens alone (yet the presence or absence of collections in recent decades appears sufficient to decide whether a species gets in the ‘Red List’ or is classified as ‘Rare & Endangered’) – no mention of this.  Yet the authors said they were going to provide information of ‘spread’ (I do not know what this means), ‘confinement’ (I think I know what this means), endemism, as well as rare, threatened and endangered, yet how can they tell this just from herbarium specimens, most of which have almost zero information on their labels!  Impossible….
The Type specimen was not ‘discovered’ by Royle in Kashmir. Royle never went to Kashmir – he was busy with his duties as Superintendent of the East Indian Botanic Garden & Saharanpur and Medical duties.  He encouraged shawl merchants to collect specimens for him.  He might not have been given permission to enter Kashmir anyhow.
The authors grandly state in the introduction that they will provide the history of the cultivation and horticultural aspect for future uses yet they say nothing about Primula elliptica – a good deal of information is available in Richard’s work on Primula, which they apparently consulted. But they ignored this and made no effort to contact specialist societies or individuals in the West who would know about its cultivation – I know a good deal about its cultivation. Nor did they attempt to contact the main horticultural firms in India that may have supplied seed of this in the past, such as P.Kohli & Co. This species, from well up in the mountains, could not be grown at lower levels in India (nor would be of interest to general gardeners due to its small size).
They also, ridiculously claimed “Simultaneously the horticulturally important species can be screened out to utilised them for better horticultural practises“. I do not understand what they mean. Not being horticulturists, how would they be able to judge which are ‘horticulturally’ important species?
Finally, I am attaching a dozen images taken in Kashmir just below the Sinthan Pass (Kashmir Valley side) showing habitat, habit, petals, sepals, foliage and two general scenes, the first from where P.elliptica was growing (no waterfalls to be seen, indeed these are uncommon at such elevations in Kashmir) and the pass on the Kishtwar side. Rather more informative compared with a shrivelled up pressed specimen in a herbarium with minimal field notes – certainly brings a plant alive compared to only line drawings – the lack of good photos of a majority of the Primulas in India was a serious omission from the book.  And what photos of Primulas that were included were minute (and of a dreadful standard).  Surely, something comparable to ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ would have been expected (at the very least) – that was produced for Oxford University Press (India) more than 30 years ago. The colour plates for that were printed by Indraprashta Press (CBT), New Delhi. Those who printed the photos for the Primulas of India need to vastly improve! Taking a closer look at my images of the corolla, it clearly shows that the description in the book is wrong i.e. “campanulate (which means bell-shaped) to saucer-shaped”.  Perhaps this is because some of the specimens they identified as P.elliptica were misidentified and thus they were actually describing the flowers of a different (perhaps, totally un-related species).  I have seen a specimen in an Indian herbarium misidentified as Primula elliptica.
As for they authors say yellow or orange eyes to the flowers – certainly in the example of the plants I photographed on Sinthan Pass, they had pale yellowish centres with a more orangey surrounding.
They have an incredibly detailed description of the foliage but it seems they are describing the leaves of a different species!
I am not impressed with the entry for P.elliptica – for of false information with the wrong species drawn!



Request for Confirmation of Primula Species Id.: 2 high res. images.
location Bhaderwah JK
altitude – 3000m approx
Please check attached images of Primula, for me this may be P.elliptica.

Looks correct ID. 

Yes, appears close to images and references at Primula elliptica

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