Primula tenella was first discovered in the Chumbi valley by King's collector, then later in nearby Bhutan by Cooper, Gould and Ludlow & Sherriff. Herbarium material of P. tenella is limited and we are unsure if there is still holotype material at CAL but the original descriptions of the specimen, though brief, are clear. In 2004, Richards described P. rebeccae, comparing it to the much larger species P. caveana which also grows in the same region, but no comparison was made with P. tenella. The type location is Jangothang, Bhutan. There is no difference between P. rebeccae and P. tenella from the evidence available.
Primula flagellaris was discovered in the Zemu Valley, Sikkim by Smith & Cave and then later in Bhutan by Ludlow & Sherriff. The difference usually cited between P. tenella and P. flagellaris is that P. flagellaris is stoloniferous (long, thread-like) and P. tenella is not (has rarely produced very short stolons from old stock). However there are also other differences: the leaves of P. tenella are coated on both sides with farina but P. flagellaris only has occasional flecks of farina on the upper surface; the leaf shape of P. tenella is obovate-trapezoid (rhomboid or ovoid-spathulate) wheras the leaf shape of P. flagellaris is lanceolate to obovate; the flower color of P. tenella is bluish wheras the color of P. flagellaris tenella is predominantly violet; P. tenella has a single linear bract immediately below the calyx whereas P. flagellaris seems not to have any bracts. Images made by George Sherriff in the field of both species are illuminating as is the image of P. tenella in cultivation in the book "Primulas" by A G Puttock, Garden Book Club, 1957. It may be best to once again split these two species apart but further field infomation would be helpful. The last 7 images are of P. flagellaris. The image of P. rebeccae given in the original description is 8th to last.