Primulas in May, part four

I transplant small primula seedlings into nursery flats (the webbed black plastic trays that hold pots) lined with newspaper and filled with a good growing mix. The plants have to spread their roots sideways, as the trays are only 6 or 7 cm deep. This means the plants grow together and can be difficult to separate when there’s a spot ready for them in the garden. They don’t seem to mind.

a tray of primroses more than ready for the garden

One up close:


And one in the garden, planted out last fall:



This is a tray of year-old Primula polyneura seedlings, in one half, and what I thought would be Primula cortusoides alba, in the other. First to flower is indeed alba but not cortusoides. (Is there a white-flowered P cortusoides?) This looks like a Primula (Cortusa) matthioli.

a stranger in their midst

Here is Primula cortusoides:

Primula cortusoides

Primula denticulata, full and round:

drumstick primroses


An old polyanthus appears to rise fully formed from the earth.

surging forth

Finally, a new polyanthus. The red-tinged foliage suggests a Cowichan, but the big yellow eye indicates otherwise. There will be Cowichans in June.


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2 Responses to Primulas in May, part four

  1. Alan Lawrence says:

    You are right with P.matthioli. Seed in the APS seedex listed as P.cortusoides alba was P.matthioli alba. Very nice anyway. Try crossing it with P.cortusoides, you never know what might result.

    • kvbk says:

      Thanks, Alan. It is a nice plant, yes. My pink-flowered P matthioli is a big hardy thing and a vigorous self-seeder, so I expect to have this white one around for a while. It set seed on its own this year. Maybe a nearby P cortusoides played a part.

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