Primulas, Early June

This Primula cortusoides is a garden escapee growing in the grass, along with escapee delphiniums (weeds) in the narrow strip along the fence. I have grown many plants from its seeds. They are bigger in the garden but not as long-lived as this one in the grass.

I had a dozen or so seedlings of Primula maximowiczii at the end of last summer. Most I put straight into the garden and kept a couple in a pot in the cold frame. They all came through the winter and are now good-sized plants, except the ones in the pot, which are slower growing. This is the only one that flowered in its first year (so far). The bright red flowers have faded now, after waiting a long time for a pollinator that never came.

Here is another look at Primula rusbyi. This was a surprise, since I had ordered Primula specuicola. P rusbyi and P specuicola, both North American primulas, look nothing alike, but I didn’t spot the error when I received them last summer, and only realized I had two rusbyis and no specuicola this spring. I can’t complain (look at it). They are not clones of the same plant, and having two means I should get seed (I assaulted assisted them with a paintbrush).

I moved this seedling into the trough and did not label it. It is likely P mistassinica or P laurentiana.

Two shots now of a silver-edge (or silver lace) polyanthus primula (Primula x polyantha). Unlike the more common polyanthus primulas, which are bred for large flowers (wrong-headed breeders seem to want to make primroses look like petunias), these have proper sized flowers and not too many of them.

This is a Barnhaven Cowichan primula (another P x polyantha) seedling. Cowichan flowers lack the typical yellow eye. This one is Garnet, a very dark red (though not as dark as it looks here). There are also red (Venetian), yellow, blue, and purple (Amethyst) Cowichans, but I have not seen any yet. I have found red (/pink) polyanthus primulas to be hardier than other colours, and blue the least hardy. It is possible that I planted out some seedlings that would have been blue or purple, and they did not survive the winter.

This polyanthus primula seedling has reflexed petals, a little like the P maximowiczii above. I think it came from Barnhaven’s Red Rumba packet. At first I thought the flowers must be old, but if so, why had I never seen them when they were new? Or else the plant must be stressed, but the leaves looked fine, and watering it did not cause the flowers to straighten out. Also, stressed and old flowers typically wilt. These flowers are not wilted.

This is another Barnhaven primula from the Red Rumba mix.

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