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Family: Primulaceae (primula and cyclamen family)

[= Myrsinaceae, Theophrastaceae, Maesaceae]

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Order: Ericales

Nine genera and about 900 species, mainly Northern Hemisphere but also SE Asia and the south temperate region of South America. Seven genera and 20 species are native to southern Africa, two species are naturalised and eight genera and 24 species are cultivated in southern Africa.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Ngwenya (2000). All these genera were Previously placed in the Myrsinaceae.

Anagallis

About 20-25 species, native to Africa and South America and in addition there is one species with a pantropical distribution. Six species are native to southern Africa, two species are naturalised and an additional species is cultivated in the region. Previously placed in the Myrsinaceae.

 

Ardisiandra

Two species native to southern Africa - Ardisiandra sibthorpioides and Ardisiandra wettsteinii (see Flora of Zimbabwe), recorded from Zimbabwe.

 

Embelia

About 130 species, native to Asia, Australia, the Mascarene Islands and tropical Africa, with three species native to southern Africa. Previously placed in the Myrsinaceae.

 

Lysimachia

About 150 species, ocurring in temperate and warm temperate regions. Three species are native to southern Africa and a further two species are cultivated in the region. Previously placed in the Myrsinaceae.

 

Myrsine

About seven species, native from Africa to East Asia, with two species native to southern Africa. Previously placed in the Myrsinaceae.

Myrsine africana

Rapanea

About 100 species, native to tropical regions and through most of Africa, with two species native to southern Africa: Rapanea melanophloeos (Cape Beech) (see Flora of Zimbabwe) and Rapanea gilliana. Previously placed in the Myrsinaceae.

Rapanea melanophloeos

Samolus

About 15 species with a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring mainly in saline marshes. Two species are native to southern Africa: Samolus porosus and Samolus valerandi. Previously placed in the Theophrastaceae.

 

Genera cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Ardisia

Ardisia crenata (Coralberry tree, Coral Bush) is a declared Category 1 invasive plant for the provinces of Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, meaning that you can't cultivate it in these regions because of its invasive potential. It is not listed as a naturalised species in Ngwenya (2000) or in Ngwenya and Bredenkamp (2003). Ardisia humilis (native to Indomalesia) is also cultivated in the region.

 

Asterolinon sp.

 

Cyclamen persicum

Native from Greece to North Africa.

 

Androsace

Two species cultivated: Androsace elongata (native to Europe and temperate Asia) and Androsace maxima (native to Europe and western Asia).

 

Dodecatheon meadia (Shooting star)

Native to the USA.

 

Jacquinia macrocarpa

Native from Mexico to Nicaragua. Previously placed in the Theophrastaceae.

 

Maesa

About 150 species, native from Old World tropics to Japan, Australia and the Pacific, with two species native to southern Africa. Previously placed in the Maesaceae.

 

Primula 

About 490-600 species, native to the Northern Hemisphere, with the distribution extending southwards to Ethiopia, Indonesia, New Guinea and the southern tip of South America. Twelve species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Publications

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

 

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