Primula marginata, spring, 2015

Primula marginata 'Herb Dickson' (and, behind the rock, a Draba, possibly Draba aizoides).

Primula marginata ‘Herb Dickson’ (and, behind the rock, a Draba, possibly Draba aizoides).


‘Herb Dickson’ was my first Primula marginata. It has appeared on the blog several times.

A great plant, it blooms early and spends the summer bulking up and spreading out so that it can return with twice as many flowers the next year.

DSCN0052 (2)I don’t know whether ‘Herb Dickson’ is a selection or a hybrid. (Does anyone know?)

My next marginatas were this pair of unnamed seedlings.The pink pin-eyed flowers are not as nice, in colour or form, as the slightly bluer thrum-eyed flowers behind. However, they are easier to get seed from.

Plants with these sharply toothed, farinose leaves and a rounder, bluer flower would be very nice.

I did get a decent amount of good-looking seed this year, after pollinating with ‘Herb Dickson’ and ‘Mauve Mist’ and the little one behind.

Speaking of ‘Mauve Mist’: I have had this for two years but don’t remember any flowers last year. I was expecting  “mauve” to be a lighter purple. Is my ‘Mauve Mist’ an imposter?

Primula marginata 'Mauve Mist'

Primula marginata ‘Mauve Mist’


I get a few seeds out of ‘Herb Dickson’ each year, very few, and from those, two or three may germinate and grow into plants. These next pictures show a few hybrids with P. marginata ‘Herb Dickson’ parentage. The other parent, if I remember right (the tags are under snow now), is a light yellow garden auricula.

This is an early spring bloomer, like ‘Herb Dickson’ and also has that parent’s vigour — it produces offsets quickly and abundantly. The foliage is fleshier, less farinose, and less deeply toothed and the flower colour is a lighter blue, brightened by the yellow centre, which will have come from the auricula side.

The plant rebloomed in October, and the flowers this time were a paler colour.

This plant is taller, and the flower colour is closer to that of ‘Herb Dickson.’ It could turn out to be a nice plant, given another year or two to show what it can do.

This plant has smooth-edged leaves, from the auricula parent.

The flowers are thrum-eyed, and the easily accessible pollen will likely find its way onto a light blue pin, such as ‘Chehalis Blue,’ should they bloom at the same time.


Primula marginata ‘Herb Dickson’ after an early May snowfall.

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