Poison Primrose
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Poison Primrose
P Introduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Poison Primrose, Chinese Primrose, German Primrose
Botanical name: Primula obconica    Family: Primulaceae (Primrose family)
Synonyms: Primula bonatii, Primula poculiformis, Primula petitmenginii

Poison Primrose is a tender perennial herb having basal, simple, elongated, glandular haired leaves. The flowers are borne at the top of a naked stem, 5-petaled, broadly funnel-shaped, pale lilac, purple or white with a yellow or green eye. Flowers are 1.5-2.5 cm across. Sepal-cup is cup-shaped to broadly bell-shaped, finely velvet-hairy or short hairy, parted to 1/4-1/3; sepals broadly triangular, fringed with hairs. Leaves form a rosette at the base. Its leaves are covered with tiny hairs that secrete a toxic substance. If the leaves are touched, an immediate irritation can occur, forming blisters. Leaf-stalks are 1.5-14 cm, with white or tawny multicellular hairs; leaf blade ovate-rotund to elliptic or oblong, 3-14 x 2.5-11 cm, below hairless or sparsely hairy, especially along veins, above becoming hairless, finely velvet-hairy or short hairy, base heart-shaped or occasionally rounded, margin nearly entire, wavy or sinuate-lobulate, tip rounded. Poison Primrose is found in thickets, forests, on rocks in mountain woods, dry limestone cliffs, in SE China, at altitudes 500-3300 m. It is widely cultivated as a garden plant. In China it is used as a poison and has environmental uses.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Delhi & Gangtok.

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