The reproductive biology of Primula merrilliana Schltr. and P. cicutariifolia Pax that are sister taxa and the only two members of Primula sect. Ranunculoides were studied. The results showed that P. merrilliana is typically a distylous species not only in morphology but also in function; it has an incompatibility system that restricts the legitimate pollination to that between pin and thrum flower morphs, but self-fertilization may occur under certain conditions. P. cicutariifolia is self-compatible. The pin morph of P. merrilliana has longer stigma papillae and smaller pollen than the thrum morph. The results stated above support the view that P. filchnerae should be moved from sect. Pinnatae to sect. Auganthus.
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