Primulas in May, part one

Earliest in flower was P elatior, small seedlings I planted out at the end of their second summer. The purple ones are subspecies meyeri, so the seed packet said (though some of the yellow ones came from the same packet). So far, P elatior seems to be every bit as hardy as P veris and hardier than P vulgaris, which is short-lived here (in my garden, anyway). Finished flowering, now the plants are growing leafy and big and, I hope, making seeds. (Next year, I’ll take better pictures.)

Primula elatior ssp meyeri (the purple ones)

Primula elatior ssp meyeri (the pink and purple ones)

P elatior ssp meyeri

Primula elatior ssp meyeri

p elatior ssp meyeri pink

another, pinker, P elatior


These are cowslips, Primula veris (more or less), planted under rose bushes as two-year-old seedlings last year. They are not all pure P veris, raised from seeds of open-pollinated plants grown near polyanthus primroses. They do not flower for long, a couple of weeks, but while they do, in a mass planting, they are — well, look at them.

Dazzling en masse, Primula veris

Primula veris

Primula veris (mostly)


This little beauty seems to have come from seed labelled P glutinosa, which it is not. I think it may be P incana, a native wildflower in this part of the world, though not at all common. (Dodecatheons, for example, are far easier to find.) The flowers rise atop a longer stem than near relation P mistassinica, and they are pale pink, while my mistassinicas are a slightly deeper, bluer shade.

Primula incana, possibly


P marginata ‘Herb Dickson’ again. In the second, badly staged, photograph, I wanted to compare it and another, unnamed, P marginata. I read that ‘Herb Dickson’ is a named selection ( i.e. not a hybrid). The second plant was sold as P marginata (an unnamed selection or an unselected seedling, I don’t know) — again, the species, not a hybrid. P marginata is said to be a variable species, and side by side these two plants certainly demonstrate this.

Primula marginata ‘Herb Dickson’ in the alpine pan

two very distinct plants, both Primula marginata


This and several other plants, some that I showed on the blog last year, grew from seed labelled P gemmifera. They are not (and I will have to remove that label stick). I believe they are P frondosa.

probably Primula frondosa


Many more to come….

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