• Botanical name : Primula calderiana
  • Family : Salicaceae (Willow family)
  • Common Name : Purple Golden Eyed Primrose
  • Location : Yumthang Valley, Sikkim.
  • Date : 20.5.17

My trip to #Sikkim opened up a whole new world of colours, which I failed to notice all my life. Driving by in the car as the trees and hills go past you, slowly the place gets absorbed into you and becomes a part of you somewhere in a subconscious state.

Trees blooming with flowers like Rhododendron and Himalayan Red Bells grab your attention obviously. But there were also these small shrubs, plants and vines which were right there in front of me waiting to get noticed. Just a few centimetres long, with flowers in bright colours in the midst of all the greenery which surrounds the eye. As we headed to higher elevations (15,000 ft +) , I had the first sighting of this beauty Primula Calderiana – or “Purple Golden-Eyed Primrose”.

On a green patch of ground with very little vegetation around and a bit of snow around the small plant. Little did I know I was going to see a valley of them in the next few days. The dark purple colour 1 cm wide flower with its beautiful golden yellow centre set in the midst of a chilled just melting hills was a beauty like none other. Facts related to this plant:  – Found in dark purple and magenta colours – Hides into nothingness and hibernates in winter as a bud and kick-starts as soon as summer sets in. – Animals hate it because of its fishy odour.  Spoon or lettuce shaped leaves. – Flowering stem is much taller than the leaves, a feature which distinguishes it from Blue Golden-Eyed Primrose.  – Flowers are up to 2 cm across, with obovate overlapping petals.  – Flowers are dark purple to rich maroon, rarely white, tube 1-1.4 cm, – Found in Himalayas, at altitudes of 3800-4700 m, in Bhutan, NE India, Nepal and Sikkim.  – Flowering season: June-July. 
Pack your bags and head to any of these places now and you will find these beauties in full bloom. Valley of flowers – Sanctuary of Rhododendron -before it could disappear.

More Information from Wikipedia :

Purple Golden-Eyed Primrose is a beautiful high-altitude primrose found in NE India. Flowers are dark purple to magenta with a golden eye, borne in umbels atop leafless stems. Leaves are spoon-shaped to inverted-lanceshaped, toothed, 5-20 x 1-3.5 cm. Flowering stem is much taller than the leaves, a feature which distinguishes it from Blue Golden-Eyed Primrose. Flowers are up to 2 cm across, with obovate overlapping petals. The flower-tube is twice as long as the sepal cup. Sepal cup is often tinged with purple, bell-shaped, 5–8 mm, glandular, parted to middle, sepals ovate to ovate-oblong, tip blunt to pointed. Flowers are dark purple to rich maroon, rarely white, tube 1-1.4 cm, limb 1.5-3.5 cm wide, petals broadly obovate to circular, notched. Purple Golden-Eyed Primrose is found in alpine meadows, streamsides in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 3800-4700 m, in Bhutan, NE India, Nepal and Sikkim. Flowering: June-July. Animals hate it because of its fishy odour. ?

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