Picritic lava flows near Lijiang in the late Permian Emeishan flood basalt province are associated with augite-phyric basalt, aphyric basalt, and basaltic pyroclastic units. The dominant phenocryst in the picritic flows is Mg-rich olivine (up to 91.6% forsterite component) with high CaO contents (to 0.42 wt %) and glass inclusions, indicating that the olivine crystallized from a melt. Associated chromite has a high Cr-number (73-75). The estimated MgO content of the primitive picritic liquids is about 22 wt %, and initial melt temperature may have been as high as 1630-1690 degrees C. The basaltic lavas appear to be related to the picritic ones principally by olivine and clinopyroxene fractionation. Age-corrected Nd-Sr-Pb isotope ratios of the picritic and basaltic lavas are indistinguishable and cover a relatively small range [e.g. epsilon(Nd)(t) = -1.3 to +4.0]. The higher epsilon(Nd)(t) lavas are isotopically similar to those of several modern oceanic hotspots, and have ocean-island-like patterns of alteration-resistant incompatible elements. Heavy rare earth element characteristics indicate an important role for garnet during melting and that the lavas were formed by fairly small degrees of partial melting. Rough correlations of isotope ratios with ratios of alteration-resistant highly incompatible elements (e.g. Nb/La) suggest modest amounts of contamination involving continental material or a relatively low-epsilon(Nd) component in the source. Overall, our results are consistent with other evidence suggesting some type of plume-head origin for the Emeishan province.