Primulas in Autumn (2014)

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Primula auricula seedling

Not a lot to show. Only one auricula seedling this fall, a yellow from my very first auricula (now almost 20 years old and a good seed producer most years). The seedling, pictured, is a two-year-old, from seed sown winter 2012. It has larger flowers, and fewer, and heavier paste (the ring of white farina) than the seed parent plant. The pollen parent was likely a hybrid garden auricula. There are many around.

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Silver-edged blue hybrid Primula acaulis, blooming in August, six months after sowing.

And a trio of blue acaulis with some silver edging. Seed, from the American Primrose Society exchange last year, was sown in February and the plants are flowering in the same year. I have them indoors now, still in bloom over three months after they started, brought in earlier this month before the really cold weather came. They don’t look to me like hardy plants. Next summer when they are bigger, I will divide them and plant some pieces in the garden to see how they fare. Indoors, in windows and under lights, the leaves and stems are growing longer and thinner than they would do outdoors in the spring. Hand-pollination is much easier (6 plants flowering now, 2 thrums and 4 pins), and there is no rain or wilting-hot sun to spoil the attempt. Will they set seed indoors? Time will tell.

Now there are four (early September)

Now there are four (early September)

The last primrose of the year (outdoors) was an Amethyst Cowichan that had needed all spring and summer to recuperate after the previous winter’s near-death experience. It went under the snow again three weeks ago, that one flower, now frost-bitten, still hanging on, along with two unopened buds. Perhaps those buds will be the first primrose flowers to open next spring (unlikely).

Amethyst Cowichan Primrose, October

Amethyst Cowichan Primrose, October

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