Primrose Family Primulaceae

"3

Chukchi Primrose

Primula tschuktschorum Kjellm. var. arctica (Koidz.) Fern. (= P eximia E. Greene)

Chukchi Primrose

Primula tschuktschorum Kjellm. var. arctica (Koidz.) Fern. (= P eximia E. Greene)

Emerging from slender fibrous roots, the leaves form a basal rosette. The leaves are oblong to bluntly lanceolate, to 3" long or more, fleshy and with a prominent mid-vein underneath. The margins are nearly entire or with small, shallowly rounded teeth (crenulate), and the leaf edges often curl backwards. The flowering stem is leafless, stout, dark purple, and up to 10" tall. The tip of the stem bears an umbel of few to several purple flowers. Each flower has five rounded unnotched lobes, and a white eye. The corolla tube is much longer than the calyx, which is dark purple to almost black, and «/3 cleft. The upper stem, pedicels, and calyx are sometimes coated with a white flourlike dust. As the plant matures and the blossoms drop, elongated seed capsules form and are held in an erect cluster at the tip of the stem. The capsules extend twice the length of the calyx or more.

The Chukchi primrose is Alaska's largest and perhaps most exquisite primrose. The species is highly variable. Here on Unalaska Island it is very scarce and only found in scattered locations. It blooms in early June in the wet meadows and seeps of upper elevations. Flowers this rare should not be picked; the joy is in finding them and seeing them grow.

The wedge-leaved primrose (P. cuneifolia) is a similar but much more common species, easily distinguished by the five deeply notched lobes and yellow eye of its flowers.

Range:

Scattered throughout the Aleutians and along both sides of the Bering Sea, also found in the interior of Alaska to the edge of the Yukon.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment