Herbs, perennial; resin canals apparent. Stems erect or ascending to prostrate or arching, simple or diffusely branched. Leaves basal and cauline, cauline mostly alternate; blade spatulate to obovate, elliptic, or orbiculate, base attenuate to cuneate, margins usually entire, sometimes slightly crenate, apex obtuse to rounded (sometimes apiculate), surfaces glabrous, sometimes obscurely punctate. Inflorescences terminal and axillary racemes or panicles [flowers solitary], 3-70-flowered, sometimes pedunculate. Pedicels present, bracteate or ebracteate. Flowers: sepals connate proximally, calyx lobes triangular to ovate, shorter to longer than tube; corolla white to pinkish, campanulate, lobes usually longer than tube, apex rounded to truncate or emarginate, sometimes erose; stamens borne near apex of corolla tube; filaments distinct; anthers closely aggregated initially around style or not; staminodes absent or 5 , borne at apex of corolla tube, petaloid or not; stigma capitate, truncate, or 2-lobed. Capsules pale tan to brown, valvate, globose; valves opening to base of calyx lobes. Seeds 20-50+, blackish brown to reddish brown, hemispheric, angular, minutely alveolate or reticulate. x = 12, 13.
PLANT: Perennials with upright to prostrate stems. LEAVES: cauline or nearly basal, alternate; margins entire. INFLORESCENCE: racemes or panicles. FLOWERS: white to pink, long-peduncled; calyx shallowly lobed, the lobes 5; corolla lobed up to ½ its length, the lobes 5, the apices obtuse; stamens 5; 5 staminodia sometimes present opposite the sepals; ovary partly inferior. FRUITS: valvate. NOTES: 10-15 spp. distributed worldwide. (Celtic: curative properties). REFERENCES: Cholewa Anita F. 1992. Primulaceae. Ariz.-Nev. Acad. Sci. 26(1)2.
Cal campanulate, its broadly triangular lobes shorter than the tube; cor deeply 5-lobed, with a minute, scale-like staminode in each sinus; stamens about equaling the cor-tube and inserted near its base; ovary ca two thirds inferior; style very short or obsolete; stigma capitellate; capsule globose, dehiscent by 5 valves as far as the base of the cal-lobes; perennial herbs with entire lvs and small white fls in terminal (or in part axillary) racemes on slender pedicels bracteolate near the middle. 10, cosmop.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.