AURICULA

P. These evergreen plants with perfect-shaped flowers in sharply defined colourings are related to the primrose and comprise two main groups: the show auricula, possibly derived from Primula auricula, and the alpine auricula, from P. pubescens. The alpine auriculas have shiny green leaves and may be grown in the rock garden, or as edgings to the border, given some shade, and medium to heavy soil which must be cool and at the same time perfectly drained. They give very good results in the north of England.

The show auriculas are equally hardy but the meal or farina on the flowers and foliage is easily spoilt by rain and they are therefore usually grown as pot plants in cold frames or unheated greenhouses. A compost of fibrous loam, leaf mould, well-rotted manure and sand is recommended Auriculas are increased by division in September. The Old Irish Blue (china-blue with a white eye) and the yellow and red varieties of Old Dusty Miller, which are very fragrant, should be tried.

Other good varieties in the two main groups include: Alpine Varieties:

Aga Khan: crimson with a white centre.

Blue Bonnet: violet-blue, passing to mid-blue with a white centre.

Midas: brown and bronze with a gold centre.

Airs. L. Hearn: light blue with a white centre.

Spring Morning: pink with a cream centre.

Vanessa: purple, passing to mid-blue with a white centre.

Show Varieties:

Canary Bird: self yellow.

Langley: self red.

Nuthatch: grey edge.

Scarlet Prince: vivid self scarlet.

Tinkerbell: green edge.

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