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Primula (pron.: //) is a genus of 400–500 species of mainly herbaceous flowering plants in the family Primulaceae. They include the familiar wildflower of banks and verges, the primrose (P. vulgaris). Other common species are P. auricula (auricula), P. veris (cowslip) and P. elatior (oxlip). 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. Primulas are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, south into tropical mountains in Ethiopia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and in temperate southern South America. Almost half of the known species are from the Himalayas.
Primula is a complex and varied genus, with a range of habitats from alpine slopes to boggy meadows. Plants bloom mostly during the spring, with flowers often appearing in spherical umbels on stout stems arising from basal rosettes of leaves; their flowers can be purple, yellow, red, pink, blue, or white. Some species show a white mealy bloom (farina) on various parts of the plant. Generally, they prefer filtered sunlight. Many species are adapted to alpine climates.
Primroses are used as food plants by the larvae (caterpillars) of some Lepidoptera species, including Duke of Burgundy butterfly, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Silver-ground Carpet.
Garden hybrids and cultivars 
Primula species have been extensively cultivated and hybridised, mainly derived from P. elatior, P. juliae, P. veris and P. vulgaris. The term Polyanthus (often called P. polyantha) refers to one such group of plants, which has produced a large variety of strains in all colours, usually grown as annuals, and available as seeds or young plants.
Sections of genus Primula 
The classification of the genus Primula has been investigated by botanists for over a century. As the genus is both large and diverse (with about 500 species), 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 (e.g. Vernales, Auricula) contain many species; others contain only one.
Selected species 
- Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- Coombes, Allen J. (2012). The A to Z of plant names. USA: Timber Press. p. 312. ISBN 9781604694962 Check
- Reader's Digest encyclopedia of garden plants & flowers, 2nd edition. United Kingdom: Reader's Digest Association. 1978.
- Alan S. Weakley (April 2008). "Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia, and Surrounding Areas".
- Ingwersen, Will (1986) . Ingwersen's Manual of Alpine Plants. Portland: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-026-6.
- Green, Roy (1986) . Asiatic Primulas. Woking, Surrey, UK: Alpine Garden Society.
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Data related to Primula at Wikispecies