Evolution and Systematics
Flowers of the alpine snowbell flourish during a short growing season by forming buds in late summer and keeping them dormant through the cold winter.
"Farther south, in Europe, the severities of the Arctic are only equalled on high mountains…Close to the edge of permanent snow, this growing period may be very brief indeed. The snow may have taken so long to melt that the sun has already passed its summer peak before the rocky cliffs are exposed and there is moisture to be extracted from the gritty ground…This is where the alpine snowbell grows. Because growing time is so short, it has to be prepared to take immediate advantage of the first thaw. Accordingly, it has, ready and waiting, flower buds that were developed at the end of the previous short summer. Throughout the winter they have remained dormant, protected by the blanket of snow above. In spring, even before the snow melts, the glimmer of slightly brighter light, filtering through the white blanket above, triggers the plant into activity. The dark surface of the flower-buds absorbs the heat of such sunlight that manages to filter down to them and this speeds the melting of the snow. As moisture from the sun-warmed surface of the snow begins to trickle into the ground, the little snowbells suddenly appear in the sunshine, each sitting in the centre of its own dimple in the snow-field." (Attenborough 1995:251-252)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:3560
Specimens with Barcodes:1943
Species With Barcodes:596
- Androsace L. (syn. Douglasia, Vitaliana) – rock jasmine, rock-jasmine, rockjasmine
- Bryocarpum Hook. f. & Thomson
- Cortusa L.
- Dionysia Fenzl
- Dodecatheon L. – shooting star, shootingstar
- Hottonia L. – hottonia
- Kaufmannia Regel
- Omphalogramma (Franch.) Franch.
- Pomatosace Maxim.
- Primula L. – primrose, cowslip, oxlip
- Samolus L. – brookweed, waterpimpernel
- Soldanella L. – snowbells
- Stimpsonia C.Wright ex A.Gray
Genera included in Myrsinaceae
The following genera, traditionally included in Primulaceae, should, according to Källersjö et al. (2000), belong to the family Myrsinaceae:
- Anagallis L. – anagallis, scarlet pimpernel
- Ardisiandra Hook. f.
- Asterolinon Hoffmans. & Link.
- Coris L.
- Cyclamen L. – cyclamen
- Glaux L. – sea milkwort
- Lysimachia L. – loosestrife, yellow loosestrife, yellow pimpernel
- Pelletiera A. St.-Hil.
- Trientalis L.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Primulaceae|
Källersjö, M., G. Bergqvist & A. A. Anderberg. 2000. Generic realignment in primuloid families of the Ericales s. l.: a phylogenetic analysis based on DNA sequences from three chloroplast genes and morphology. Amer. J. Bot. 87: 1325–1341.
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