Early primulas

purple Primula denticulata buds

Denticulatas must be the toughest primulas in the garden. Now that I have them growing in a situation they like — light shade, lots of peat, constant moisture, not a lot of competition — they are increasing happily, whereas in the old rock garden they dwindled and disappeared.

white Primula denticulata

This white denticulata is, for its own reasons, the earliest up. The denticulatas will need feeding this year, and the larger clumps will be divided, to ensure they continue to thrive.

Primula maximowiczii with buds

I have found six primula maximowiczii this spring. (Don’t know what happened to the rest; don’t remember where I put them). This is by far the biggest and strongest and will be sending up bright red flowers in a few days. The others will take another year settling in before they bloom.

unopened leaves of Primula matthioli

The furry leaves of Primula matthioli (formerly Cortusa matthioli) emerge and uncurl . The reddish, less furry parts in among them are the flowering stems. I bought this plant from the Devonian Botanic Garden three years ago. It is also doing well, with the denticulatas, in the wet shade bed.

Androsace carnea

Not a primula but in the family Primulaceae, this Androsace carnea grew from seed from the Devonian Botanic Garden. The photograph reminds me that I don’t often enough clear away bits of stuff (twigs, grass, poplar seed tails, hairs) before taking the picture. Plants like this one, with small flowers well above a cushion of foliage, are difficult to photograph well, as the camera wants to focus on the foliage, leaving the flowers slightly (or very) blurry.

Douglasia laevigata ssp laevigata

I have this as Douglasia laevigata ssp laevigata, but I understand the Douglasias belong with the Androsaces (and there is no such thing as a Douglasia), so this may actually be Androsace laevigata. Either way, another member of Primulaceae.

Primula hirsuta

My camera adds colour. I should look at the settings. But this primula hirsuta really is as bright as it looks here. P hirsuta is one of the original parents, along with P auricula, of the garden and show auriculas. Before this finishes flowering, I will try crossing it with the yellow P auricula nearby.

Primula x forsteri

Primula x forsteri is a result of crossing P hirsuta and P minima. Nice foliage, not a free-flowering plant, or not yet.

Primiula villosa

Primula villosa


Primula marginata

This Primula marginata has smaller, pinker flowers than most (most on Google Images, that is). It could be that it’s a hybrid. P marginata x ?

Primula marginata 'Herb Dickson'

Primula marginata ‘Herb Dickson’

This is a named Primula marginata, ‘Herb Dickson,’ growing in an alpine trough. Its flowers are much larger and more blue than the plant above. It needs to be lifted from the trough, divided, trimmed, and re-set, as it isn’t flowering nearly as well as it did last year, and its bare, woody stems are getting long.

pink Primula x polyantha

This polyanthus primula (P x polyantha) is probably a ‘Pacific Giants’ type that I grew from seed. I say this because of the size of the plant and its flowers, and because I found an empty ‘Pacific Giants’ seed packet in the garage the other day.

Primula x polyantha ‘Pacific Giants’

This must be another ‘Pacific Giant.’ It is nice to have flowers out quickly in the spring, but when this brash orange beast and its screeching pink neighbour (above) are in full bloom, they clash pretty hard. This will be the summer they get dug and divided, and distributed.

dark red Primula auricula hybrid from APS seed

This dark red auricula came from seed donated by a member of the American Primrose Society. It will get a prominent place in the garden.

mystery plant — sold as Primula carniolica

This primula was sold as Primula carniolica but is certainly not. The pale flowers of indeterminate colour indicate it is likely a cross. I may pollinate it with P auricula, P hirsuta and/or P marginata and try the seed. There is bound to be some good colour in its heritage, and it is a nicely shaped little thing.

This entry was posted in alpines, auriculas, primula, spring flowers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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