Androsace, commonly known as rock jasmine,[2] is a genus in the family Primulaceae, second only to Primula in number of species.[3] It is a predominantly Arctic–alpine genus with many species in the Himalayas (where the genus originated), the mountains of central Asia, the Caucasus, and the southern and central European mountain systems, particularly the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Androsace laevigata 5662.jpg
Androsace laevigata in Olympic National Park, United States
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Primulaceae
Subfamily: Primuloideae
Genus: Androsace


Subsection Aretia
Subsection Dicranothrix


Subsection Chamaejasmoidea
Subsection Villosae


Androsace Distribution Map.svg

Plants of this genus are sometimes known as rock jasmines or fairy candelabras and are widely cultivated for their dense cushions covered in white or pink flowers. There are roughly 110 species.[4][5]

This genus has small entire or toothed leaves which form a basal rosette.[6]


Recent molecular studies show that the genera Douglasia (found in north-western North America and easternmost Siberia), Pomatosace (an Himalayan endemic) and Vitaliana (a European endemic) are nested within Androsace.[3][7] Phylogenetic studies have also demonstrated that the ancestor of Androsace first appeared about 35 Mya ago and was most probably an annual species.[8] Evolution towards the denser morphology of cushions took place two times independently in Asia and in Europe.[8]


As of December 2019, Plants of the World Online recognizes the following species, including those formerly placed in Douglasia and Vitaliana.[9][10]

Former Douglasia speciesEdit

The online Flora of North America placed nine species in Douglasia[11] that are now included in Androsace (names in Androsace from Plants of the World Online[9]):


The following species have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. All are mat-forming evergreen perennials.

  • A. lanuginosa (woolly rock jasmine)[12] - lilac pink
  • A. sempervivoides (sempervivum-leaved rock jasmine)[13] - mauve pink
  • A. studiosorum (rock jasmine)[14] - deep pink


  1. ^ a b Douglasia and Vitaliana were formerly treated as separate genera.
  2. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 352. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.
  3. ^ a b Gerald M. Schneeweiss; Peter Schönswetter; Sylvia Kelso; Harald Niklfeld (2004). "Complex biogeographic patterns in Androsace (Primulaceae) and related genera: evidence from phylogenetic analyses of nuclear internal transcribed spacer and plastid trnL-F sequences" (PDF). Systematic Biology. 53 (6): 856–876. doi:10.1080/10635150490522566. JSTOR 4135374. PMID 15764556.
  4. ^ Jepson Manual Treatment
  5. ^ Flora of China
  6. ^ Grey-Wilson, Christopher (2001). The Rock Garden Plant Primer. London: Timber Press. p. 47.
  7. ^ Trift I., Anderberg A. A. and Källersjö M. 2002. The monophyly of Primula (Primulaceae) evaluated by analysis of sequences from the chloroplast gene rbcL. Systematic Botany 27(2):396-407
  8. ^ a b Florian C. Boucher; Wilfried Thuiller; Cristina Roquet; Rolland Douzet; Serge Aubert; Nadir Alvarez; Sébastien Lavergne (2012). "Reconstructing the origins of high-alpine niches and cushion life form in the genus Androsace s.l. (Primulaceae)" (PDF proof). Evolution. 66 (4): 1255–1268. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01483.x. PMC 3999638. PMID 22486702.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Androsace L.", Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2019-12-27
  10. ^ Dixon, C.J.; Gutermann, W.; Schönswetter, P. & Schneeweiss, G.M. (2016), "Taxonomy and nomenclature of the polymorphic European high mountain species Androsace vitaliana (L.) Lapeyr. (Primulaceae)", PhytoKeys, 75 (75): 93–106, doi:10.3897/phytokeys.75.10731, PMC 5234540, PMID 28127247
  11. ^ Kelso, Sylvia, "Douglasia", in Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.), Flora of North America (online),, retrieved 2019-12-27
  12. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Androsace lanuginosa". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  13. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Androsace sempervivoides". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  14. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Androsace studiosorum". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 12 January 2018.

External linksEdit