Auricula Survey, first week of May

Lots of auriculas beginning to flower, some more worthy of photographing than others, starting with my old yellow species auricula (a true Primula auricula, as far as I know, not an ornamental hybrid). For the first time in its life (12+ years), it has two trusses and both are crowded with buds. In past years, when it bloomed at all, it put up one truss of five or six flowers and never produced an offshoot. Clearly, it is enjoying its situation in the newly rebuilt alpine garden.

yellow Primula auricula loaded with buds

These next two are grown from seed purchased from an auricula grower in England, where primrose societies hold shows and growers compete for ribbons and the right to give their hand-raised seedlings an official name. I had 48 seedlings last winter from these imported seeds. All but two survived outdoors in a cold frame, and then this spring a third gave up. Of the 45 remaining, about a dozen are in bud or bloom. Some of the others may come along later, and the very small ones will need another year.

seedling of ‘Trafalgar Square’ x ‘Bold Tartan’

striped seedling

I’m glad I got a picture of these very promising buds, as the next day the stem began to droop and now it is wilted beyond recovery. The plant otherwise looks fine.

P marginata ‘Herb Dickson’ x small white auricula

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