A genus of diminutive annual or perennial scapose tufted herbs, natives of mountainous regions. They agree in most characters with Primula, differing in the tube of the corolla being constricted towards the top. There are almost a dozen species in the Swiss Alps, and a few others scattered over the North of Asia and America. Name from avnp, a male, and oakos, a buckler, referring to the shape of the anther.

A. ciliata, with solitary purple flowers; A. lactea, white umbellate flowers; A. lanuginosa, pink and yellow umbellate flowers; and A. villosa, pure white, with a yellow or pink eye, are some of the most desirable of the perennial species.

Aretia Vitaliana is a tufted Alpine plant about 2 inches high with linear leaves and bright yellow flowers having the corolla-tube inflated at the middle, and the ovary 5-ovulate.

Covtusa Matthioli is a scapose perennial about 6 inches high. Leaves petiolate, rotundate, irregularly toothed or lobed. Flowers purple, umbellate, drooping. Corolla funnel-shaped or campanulate, with a short tube and sub-erect limb. Capsule 2-valved. Swiss Alps.