The Mexican Primula

There are 21 Primula species listed for North America, and we usually think that means "in the USA and Canada". However there is one Primula which is found in Mexico. That species is Primula rusbyi. It is also found in the US states of Arizona and New Mexico. It is speculated that because it occurs in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas Mountains of Mexico, that it could also occur in the extension of those mountains into Guatemala. Occurrences from the Intermountain Region Herbarium Network show herbarium samples from the mountains of the Mexican states of Durango, Zacatecas, Coahuila and Chihuahua.
The species P. ellisiae was described from individual plants from the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico based on longer calyx lobes in relation to the tube and a larger sized seed capsule. These characteristics vary within populations and according to the Flora of North Americapreliminary genetic analyses (S. Kelso and P. Beardsley, unpubl.) reveal no substantive genetic distinction between these individuals and those from elsewhere in the range”.  The name “Primula ellisiae” persists in cultivation but should be corrected to Primula rusbyi.

Calyx equals the tube
Calyx 2x's the tube
Primula rusbyi comes from mountain locations in dry areas but survives on moist slopes and cliff edges.
P. rusbyi in habitat
 See the Species Gallery for more images.


  1. Anonymous8/14/2015

    After 3 years, P. rusbyi is doing well in Juneau

    1. That's a long way from Mexico! Glad to hear it grows for you. It's a great species.