Primula buryana Balf. f., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1922(4): 151–152 1922.;
S. Tibet to Nepal as per POWO;
Primula reidii var williamsii : 10 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
Date: 25 JULY, 2014
Location: Kalinchok, Dolakha District, East Nepal
Altitude : 12500 ft.
Must be a rare primula; rarer than P. reidii typical var.
This is not Primula reidii var. williamsii which has blue flowers & only known from Western & Central Nepal not Eastern districts. Not all specimens are deep blue and the image in ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ is not great, having a superficial resemblance to the plant … photographed. This variant has either pale blue or blue with a white centre flowers – apparently in all its parts. When first collected by Williams as part of the Stainton, Sykes & Williams Expedition to Nepal in 1952 was thought to be a new species but then realised only a variant. One must be very cautious when claiming species are ‘New to Science’ or ‘Endemic’ especially in most parts of the Himalaya where minimal exploration has taken place and the area to be covered enormous especially amongst higher mountains.
It is in fact, Primula buryana – note the deeply notched petals and hairiness in centre of corolla. Certainly made it difficult to name by not showing either foliage or calyx. Please do take more photos per plant next time to avoid confusion. The flowers of this plant do not come close to matching Primula redii var. reidii either.
P.buryana is recorded from West to East Nepal & Tibet on open slopes often areas not too far from Tibetan borderlands @ 3300-5000m. I first came across it below the Dhaulagiri ice-falls, Mustang District. Flowers typically white but a form with blue flowers is found locally in Central Nepal on rock ledges – perhaps this represents a distinct species?
Primula buryana does belong to the same Section within Primula as P.reidii – SOLDANELLOIDES
Further to my recent post. All the other images mostly taken in VOF were correctly identified as Primula reidii. Given the number of people interested in flowers indeed Primulas specifically who go up and across the Rohtang Pass, it just goes to show that unless one knows where (and looks) populations of plants can easily be overlooked/missed. Primula reidii is quite common in places on the Rohtang…. This is why I wonder if it might not be quite as rare as it seems in Kashmir or perhaps towards the end of its geographic range? Ludlow & Sherriff found it in Kishtwar but Dr Ralph Stewart came across it in Poonch at 3000m (lower than usual). Nasir (‘Prmulaceae of Pakistan’) observes that the plant is found on damp rocks and steep rocky places near water @ 3300-3800m. One of the locations I know it on the Rohtang was certainly damp as well as shady.
Thank you for Correct ID Primula buryana I. B. Balf. (accepted name).
Good to hear that. It will help whoever is attempting to confirm/identify species from you photos in the years to come.
Would be useful to have more images of Primula buryana including var. purpurea which has a photo in the Supplement to Flowers of the Himalaya.
Stainton tells us that whereas the white-flowered form of P.buryana grows in drier areas (such as Upper Kali Gandaki/Mustang district) adjacent to the Tibetan border, the blue-flowered form grows on rock ledges and peat-banks in wet country fully exposed to the monsoon rains. The flowers of var. purpurea are often in a much laxer head.
This variant is currently understood to be a Central Nepal endemic @ 2900-4600m, flowering in June or July.
Hopefully a group member can take some photos of this in the years to come as well.
I am planning to visit that place again at a convenient time. I shall try
for more pics if still found.