These are species and hybrids from within the same Primula section as Primula auricula. Many of the hybrids have some auricula heritage but are smaller than garden aurculas and may show a greater resemblance to other parents.
A couple of old, but new-to-me, Primula marginatas, Linda Pope (a hybrid) and Barbara Clough (species).
John Richards, in Primula, describes ‘Snow Cap’ as a white-flowered hybrid of Primula hirsuta and Primula allionii. I assume this plant, sold as ‘Snowcap’ is the same one. The pink-flowered plant, with the wrong label, is likely also a hybrid with Primula hirsuta. Does it matter? Maybe not a lot. If I knew they were both P allionii hybrids, I might try crossing them. If I knew the pink one had some P marginata in it, I would cross it with a P marginata.
Primula villosa, bought in 2011. Around the same time, I also acquired plants of P latifolia, P hirsuta, and P x forsteri. All had three or four good years in the garden but lately have been dwindling, and only small pieces remain. I don’t know why this should be — whether these plants typically do not live long as garden plants, or whether the conditions here don’t suit them well. I could move them into pots and ‘baby’ them, but they might like that even less.
The above are all purchased plants. The following are grown from seed, except little Primula x pubescens ‘Cream Viscosa,’ shown here as a possible pollen parent for the pink-flowered seedling. The seed parent is the slightly pinkish pale yellow garden auricula (pictured with leaves of nearby Primula marginata x ‘Herb Dickson’), a much larger plant than the other two. The bright pink comes from Primula hirsuta, one of the parents in a Primula x pubescens cross and also present in the make-up of most (if not all?) garden auriculas. I was impressed by this seedling, a very big little plant in its first blooming year, while its siblings did not bloom at all.
Previously on the blog I have shown plants from seed out of a poor hybrid sold as Primula carniolica. Here are another four. The insipid yellow has even less colour than the colourless seed parent.
Plants from seed acquired through the American Primrose Society seed exchange, and pods full of seed to send back to the exchange. (Go here now to join the APS!) The plants have named cultivar parents. The blue comes from ‘Wharfedale Village,’ which appears to have some P marginata in it, and the pinks are from ‘Peardrop,’ a P allioniii hybrid.
This is a Primula glaucescens seedling at the end of July. Sometimes a new seedling that is too small to bloom in the spring will have its first flowering in the fall. Here, I thought the new, pinkish growth was a sign the plant was producing flower buds. I saw similar growth on P glaucescens’ near relations P spectabilis and P clusiana. None of them went on to bloom, however, and the new growth disappeared. The pinkish leaves/buds didn’t die — they disappeared. Maybe cooler weather caused the plants to abort the mission. Or maybe — is this possible? — the plants produced next year’s flower buds above ground and then drew them down below the surface for protection over winter.
To close, one of 2017’s new seedlings out of Primula marginata ‘Herb Dickson.’ Is it this blue in real life? Not quite. The camera sees more blue than it should. But of several seedlings grown from seed out of ‘Herb Dickson,’ this is the best blue yet. It will be interesting to see what it does this year when it is a bigger plant.