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Primula(prĭm`yələ): see primroseprimrose,
common name for the genus Primula of the Primulaceae, a family of low perennial herbs with species found on all continents, most frequently in north temperate regions.
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(primroses), a genus of plants of the family Primulaceae. The plants are perennial scapose herbs. The leaves develop in a basal rosette. The flowers, which are regular and pentamerous, are yellow, pink, or red. The inflorescences are umbellate; less commonly, the flowers are solitary. The calyx is campanulate or tubular, and the corolla is tubular with a funnelform or rotate blade. The fruit is a capsule.
There are about 500 species of primrose, distributed throughout the world. Most are encountered in temperate zones and in alpine regions. There are about 70 species in the USSR. The cowslip (P. veris), an early-spring plant measuring 10–30 cm tall, has wrinkled leaves and bright yellow flowers. It grows practically everywhere in the European USSR in dry meadows, along forest edges, and in open forests. P. macrocalyx is found in the European part of the Soviet Union (chiefly in southern regions), in the Caucasus, and in southern Siberia. The roots of both species, which contain saponins, essential oils, and glycosides, are used as expectorants. The flowers and leaves are used in the production of alcoholic drinks. The leaves contain large amounts of vitamins and saponins and are used to treat avitaminosis and other vitamin deficiencies. Several species, including the two mentioned above, are nectariferous. A number of species are ornamentals, including P. vulgaris and the oxlip (P. elatior).
REFERENCEFedorov, A. A. “Pervotsvet— Primula L.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 18. Moscow-Leningrad, 1952.
Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
T. V. EGOROVA