Primula is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Primulaceae. They include the familiar wildflower of the primrose. Other common species are P. veris and P. elatior. These species and many others are valued for their ornamental flowers, they have been extensively cultivated and hybridised - in the case of the primrose, for many hundreds of years. Primula are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, south into tropical mountains in Ethiopia and New Guinea, in temperate southern South America. Half of the known species are from the Himalayas. Primula has about 500 species in traditional treatments, more if certain related genera are included within its circumscription. Primula is a complex and varied genus, with a range of habitats from alpine slopes to boggy meadows. Plants bloom during the spring, with flowers appearing in spherical umbels on stout stems arising from basal rosettes of leaves; some species show a white mealy bloom on various parts of the plant. Many species are adapted to alpine climates.
The word primula is the Latin feminine diminutive of primus, meaning first, applied to flowers that are among the first to open in spring. Primulas are used as a food plant by the Duke of Burgundy butterfly. Primula species have been extensively cultivated and hybridised derived from P. elatior, P. juliae, P. veris and P. vulgaris. Polyanthus is one such group of plants, which has produced a large variety of strains in all colours grown as annuals or biennials and available as seeds or young plants; the following hybrid varieties and cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:- The genus Dodecatheon originated from within Primula, so some authorities include the 14 species of Dodecatheon in Primula. The classification of the genus Primula has been investigated by botanists for over a century; as the genus is both large and diverse, botanists have organized the species in various sub-generic groups. The most common is division into a series of thirty sections.
Some of these sections contain many species. Species include: Primula × kewensis = P. floribunda × P. verticillata Primula × polyantha = P. veris × P. vulgaris Primula × pubescens = P. hirsuta × P. auricula Data related to Primula at Wikispecies Armeniapedia: Medicinal Uses of Primula American Primrose Society
The Ericales are a large and diverse order of dicotyledons, for example, persimmon, Brazil nut, azalea. The order includes trees, bushes and herbaceous plants. Together with ordinary autophytic plants, the Ericales include chlorophyll-deficient mycoheterotrophic plants and carnivorous plants. Many species have five petals grown together. Fusion of the petals as a trait was traditionally used to place the order in the subclass Sympetalae. Mycorrhiza is an interesting property associated with the Ericales. Indeed, symbiosis with root fungi is quite common among the order representatives, three kinds of it can be found among Ericales. In addition, some families among the order are notable for their exceptional ability to accumulate aluminum. Ericales are a cosmopolitan order. Areas of distribution of families vary - while some are restricted to tropics, others exist in Arctic or temperate regions; the entire order contains over 8,000 species, of which the Ericaceae account for 2,000-4,000 species. The most commercially used plant in the order is tea from the Theaceae family.
The order includes some edible fruits, including kiwifruit, blueberry, cranberry, Brazil nut, Mamey sapote. The order includes shea, the major dietary lipid source for millions of sub-Saharan Africans. Many Ericales species are cultivated for their showy flowers: well-known examples are azalea, camellia, polyanthus, cyclamen and busy Lizzie; these families are recognized in the APG III system as members of the Ericales: Family Actinidiaceae Family Balsaminaceae Family Clethraceae Family Cyrillaceae Family Diapensiaceae Family Ebenaceae Family Ericaceae Family Fouquieriaceae Family Lecythidaceae Family Marcgraviaceae Family Mitrastemonaceae Family Pentaphylacaceae Family Polemoniaceae Family Primulaceae Family Roridulaceae Family Sapotaceae Family Sarraceniaceae Family Sladeniaceae Family Styracaceae Family Symplocaceae Family Tetrameristaceae Family Theaceae These families are not recognized in the APG III system but have been in common use in the recent past: Family Myrsinaceae → Primulaceae Family Pellicieraceae → Tetrameristaceae Family Maesaceae → Primulaceae Family Ternstroemiaceae → Pentaphylacaceae Family Theophrastaceae → PrimulaceaeThese make up a basal group of asterids.
Under the Cronquist system, the Ericales included a smaller group of plants, which were placed among the Dilleniidae: Family Ericaceae Family Cyrillaceae Family Clethraceae Family Grubbiaceae Family Empetraceae Family Epacridaceae Family Pyrolaceae Family Monotropaceae Paradinandra du Mortier, B. C. J.. Analyse des Familles de Plantes: avec l'indication des principaux genres qui s'y rattachent. 28. Tournay: Imprimerie de J. Casterman. Jansen, S.. "The Distribution and Phylogeny of Aluminium Accumulating Plants in the Ericales". Plant Biology. 6: 498–505. Doi:10.1055/s-2004-820980. PMID 15248133. Judd, W. S.. S.. A.. F.. J.. "Ericales". Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach. Sinauer Associates. Pp. 425–436. ISBN 978-0-87893-403-4. Smets, E.. "Ericales". Nature Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Nature Publishing Group. Arne A. Anderberg. "Maesaceae, a New Primuloid Family in the Order Ericales s.l.". Taxon. 49: 183–187. Doi:10.2307/1223834. JSTOR 1223834