Primula- Primrose, Cowslip

Hardy perennials with very beautiful flowers, not always easy to cultivate.

Situation:

In general, primroses require a damp, partially shaded situation; the alpine primroses however are used as rock plants, but in that case the soil must be very well drained in winter, when a certain amount of protection may not be superfluous.

Soil:

A mixture of humus and clay is usually appreciated. If the leaves grow limp it means the soil is too dry.

Propagation:

By division after flowering; also from seed, which should if possible first be frozen, to be germinated at a low temperature.

Primula bullesiana hybrids: Yellow, rose-red, orange or lilac flowers in spherical umbels in early to mid summer. Usually the colours are mixed, which is not a good idea . Also known as ‘Moerheim’, ‘Ipswich’ or ‘Asthore’ hybrids.

Primula denticulata: Height 15-45 cm; spherical clusters of lilac flowers on long stalks in early to mid spring; in the form ‘Alba’ the flowers are white. The foliage appears after the flowers. In the cultivar ‘Cachemiriana’ the flowers appear a little later and the plant seems to be covered in flour.

Primula eliator hybrids: Height 8-30 cm; flowers in a variety of colours in the spring months. Well known, old-fashioned garden primrose, easy to grow. Primula florindae: Height 50-70 cm; fragrant, sulphur-yellow flowers hanging from the tip of long stalks as late as mid to late summer. Very large leaves. Quite winter-hardy; very easy to grow by the side of a pond. Primula juliae hybrids: Height 5-10 cm, clump-forming; flowering season early to mid spring; the original colour is deep violet. Very fine cultivars in the colours white, red, purple etc.

Primula rosea: Height 10-20 cm; rose-red flowers in mid to late spring. Needs very damp soil and some protection in winter.

Primula veris, wild cowslip: Height 10-25 cm; pale yellow flowers in early to mid spring; also occurring in orange, red and brownish shades. May be naturalised in a lawn. Primula vulgaris syn Primula acaulis, stalkless primrose: Height 5-15 cm; flowers in extremely vivid colours, always with a contrasting eye, in early to mid spring. This species is also sold for indoor cultivation.

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