Late Spring Primula Watch part 2

Following on from this morning’s part 1, another bunch of this spring’s primulas.

To the auriculas first. Among the last to flower this spring was this red one grown from American Primrose Society exchange seed.

Auricula grown from American Primula Society exchange seed

This plant, and several similar ones, came from a cross between the small white auricula (SWA) that has appeared previously on the blog, and a light yellow garden centre auricula. I suspect SWA has some P marginata or P allionii in its heritage.

Seedling from a cross of a small near-white auricula and a pale yellow garden centre auricula.

The two flowering plants are from Thompson & Morgan’s ‘Viennese Waltz’ seeds. They are not much to look at, and while you can’t judge a whole pack of seed from two plants (or can you?), I won’t be taking this dance again.

Two flowering plants from Thompson & Morgan’s ‘Viennese Waltz’ seeds.

I haven’t been impressed with Thompson & Morgan’s ‘Douglas Prize’ mix either. This white-centred bright purple flower is the best so far out of that packet. Quite unusual and a definite keeper.

A white-centred purple/pink auricula from Thompson & Morgan’s ‘Douglas Prize’ seed

Three of the best of the Barnhaven seedlings now, and what a difference. If you want to try growing auriculas from seed, I say don’t waste your time with Thompson & Morgan’s mixtures. Go straight to Barnhaven. Your second best choice, from my experience, would be the American Primrose Society seed exchange.

The best of the Barnhaven auricula seedlings

I grew some very interesting plants from seed I bought on ebay from a man who raises and shows auriculas in England. Several of these plants appeared in earlier posts. Here is the last of them to flower this spring. Many others hadn’t reach flowering size in May but could still flower in September. Young auricula seedling will sometimes flower in late summer if they miss the spring.

A heavily farinose fancy Auricula seedling

These next three are purchased plants. ‘Parakeet,’ a fancy show auricula, is the first named show auricula I bought. I paid $17 at a famous garden centre outside of town. I now know that $7 would have been pricy, and $5 or $6 reasonable. It was a big, crowded plant, and after I got it home, I found botrytis in the middle of it. I removed the soil and washed the roots, cut away the diseased parts, and ended up with several small pieces. A couple of them eventually reached flowering size.

Fancy show auricula ‘Parakeet’

This double-flowered show auricula ‘Fred Booley’ put out a single flower, as well. Of course, I went straight in with a paintbrush. I see there is now a small seed pod. Maybe there’ll be something inside.

Double show aricula ‘Fred Booley’ with one single flower

And this is one of several vigorous and healthy garden-variety auriculas I bought at a non-famous garden centre for $4 or less (some pots having more than one plant in them). (Really, famous garden centre, $17 — seventeen dollars — for a pot of leaves and botrytis? This blog does not name and shame, but sometimes it is sorely tempted.) Also in this artistic photo, stems and seed heads of Androsace carnea and purple flowers of a Primula allionii hybrid whose name I will have to go outside and read off the tag — ‘Clarence Eliot.’

an arty shot

Most of these auriculas are from seed off my old plants. I looked at them in some detail in a post last year.

Auriculas thrive in the thin strip between the sidewalk and the north side of the fence.

And here, on my old yellow species auricula, are next year’s seedlings. I don’t need any more, or have anywhere to put them, but how can I not try a few seeds?

Seed pods swelling on the species Auricula

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Three garden returnees peak-performing:

A full head of flowers on Primula denticulata (drumstick primrose)

Primula maximowiczii

Primula matthioli (Cortusa matthioli) in full bloom

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Two new, difficult-to-photograph plants, mail-ordered last fall:

Primula fasciculata (purchased as, but maybe not actually): small flowers on long stems

Primula zambalensis from Beaver Creek (mail order)

Primula zambalensis — the whole plant

A Dodecatheon meadia (shooting star) in the wet shade bed.

A dodecatheon (shooting star) in bud

And in bloom

In its entirety

Finally, also in the wet shade bed, the primulas of summer appear:

Primula viallii makes an entrance

First shoots of Primula alpicola

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