Primula florindae

This lovely yellow primula, known as the giant Himalayan cowslip, grows beside streams and in damp meadows in the mountains of Tibet. There it was disco-vered in 1924 by Frank Kingdon Ward and is now one of the best loved of the Asiatic primulas. A giant of the genus, it grows to some 3 feet (90 cm) high, with large umbels of drooping sulphur-yellow flowers with a creamy powder inside the petals, and the leaves are indeed like those of large cowslips.

In the garden, P. flonndae must have moisture and a little shade, and prefers rich acid soil. Though not excessively demanding, in drier or poorer soil it will not make such a handsome plant. It flowers for several weeks from midsummer and, like many plants which need moisture, solves the problem by growing very deep roots. One of the loveliest plantings I know is in a dell in a Kentish garden where P. flonndae grows with Rodgersia pinnata, the tawny-flowered Iris fulva, other irises and primulas, and many ferns. In the background are amelanchiers for giving shade and autumn colour.

Put in the plants 12 inches (30 cm) apart with peat or decayed manure, and keep well watered until established. This primula seeds freely and hybridizes with other primula species growing nearby.

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