Since Primula filchnerae R.Knuth (Primulaceae) was firstly collected by W. Filchner in 1904, no extant wild population was found in more than one hundred years, which made people believe this species to be extinct.
At the present time, only two populations were rediscovered in Zhushan County and Zhuxi County of Hubei Province, China. Fewer than100 individuals of the species were found in the wild. The systematic position of the species was controversial.
The original holotype of P. filchnerae was destroyed in the bombing of the Berlin Herbarium during World War II, and there were no other original materials known.
LI Xinwei from Wuhan Botanical Garden and GAN Qiliang from Zhuxi Qiliang Institute of Biology designated the specimen X.W.Li 150311 (HIB) with both flowers and fruits as the neotype for P. filchnerae.
The neotypification of the species is of significance for the systematics, conservation, and utilization of the genus Primula.
The attractive purple flowers of P.filchnerae and long flowering period suggests for its potential for cultivation as an ornamental. Considering the rarity of this species, it’s urgent to initiate a conservation assessment and protection measures.
This study was published in Novon entitled with “Neotypification of Primula filchnerae (Primulaceae)”.
Primula filchnerae R.Knuth. A: flowers; B: fruits (Image by LI Xiwei)