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Primula waltonii

Primulaceae
 

Habitat: partial shade

 

Soil: with plenty of humus

 

Height: 60 cm

 

Flowering: spring

 

Width: 25 cm

           


           

The Sikkimensis section contains first-rate plants for places in the garden that are not too hot and dry, or even are very wet. They die down completely in the winter, but in spring make clumps of rounded leaves in distinct stems. Then the tall flower stems grow, each bearing two or three large whorls of flowers. Each flower is on its own long stem (pedicel), so that they arch outwards and downwards. They are wonderfully scented, and are coloured white, cream, yellow, orange, red, maroon or purple, with the insides often covered in cream powder.

Primula waltonii has sharply toothed leaves, and bears umbels of pendent, dark lilac to reddish purple flowers with mealy edges.
PWG-1
1 litre pot £5.00

primula_alpicola_alba.jpg Primula alpicola (purple/white) has two or three whorls of flowers towards the tops of the tall flower stems. The flowers of these plants should be white or shades of purple, and are deliciously scented. The strains, grown from seed, normally come true.
primula_alpicola_alpicola.jpg Primula alpicola var. alpicola has two or three whorls of white flowers, finely scented, towards the tops of the tall flower stems. The plants die down completely in winter.
primula_alpicola_kevock.jpg Primula alpicola 'Kevock Sky' is a strain that we have established from a plant originating in our garden. The flowers, in two or three whorls towards to top of the tall stems, are larger than is usual for this species, and they are a pale mauve colour. We referred to it as 'sky blue', but that is an exaggeration. We have called it Primula alpicola 'Kevock Sky', which is not (yet) a registered name.
invisible.gif Primula alpicola var. violacea wine red comes from plants that have flowers that are port wine coloured when they open, fading a little in time, but still remaining deep purple. They are produced in two or three whorls on the tall stem, and are scented.
invisible.gif Primula firmipes is a small member of the Sikkimensis section, with pretty soft yellow flowers. These are held in loose mopheads of up to eight individual blooms on stems that are covered in a delicate dusting of yellow farina. It is native to the border area linking Tibet, Yunnan, Myanmar and Assam, and although it was introduced to cultivation by George Forrest in 1924, it soon disappeared and has only returned to cultivation within the last decade. It is great for damp areas but will benefit from a mulch of grit to slightly lift the basal leaf rosette.
primula_florindae2.jpg Primula florindae is easy, in a damp place. In a soggy area of our garden that we call a lawn we mow these primulas, which survive but don't grow very tall! Elsewhere, they can grow to a magnificent 120 cm or more tall, and have one (occasionally two) whorls of flowers on short spreading or hanging pedicels (stems), sometimes a hundred or more, with a lovely scent. Most have soft yellow flowers (the Tibetan cowslip) or are a pale orange, but others can be quite a bright red. This catalogue entry represents a mixture of the usual yellow or orange forms.
primula_florindae_sdr4626.jpg Primula cf. florindae SDR4626 was given to us as seed from plants that looked very much like Primula florindae, but were somewhat shorter than plants we normally grow, and the flowers (one or two whorls) were stronger yellow, more like a buttercup than the paler yellow we associate with florindae.
primula_ioessa.jpg Primula ioessa is smaller than most plants in this section, but with relatively large hanging flowers, white or pale plum coloured on the outside, but so covered with meal on the inside that they are effectively white. Like other members of the section, it likes a damp place.
invisible.gif Primula reticulata is a species described in the books as having yellow flowers, but the parent plant of these seedlings has deep red flowers, but otherwise looks like a small version of Primula sikkimensis. Whether it is reticulata or not we don't know; what we do know is that it is distinct from other related plants, and looks most attractive when in flower.
invisible.gif Primula cf. reticulata SDR7465 is believed to be this species, but it has not yet flowered for us. It is rather like a small version of Primula sikkimensis, with flowers that can be yellow, white or deep red.
invisible.gif Primula sikkimensis apricot (ex red) are grown from seeds from two plants that had apricot-coloured flowers, and are believed to be hybrids of some normal yellow-flowered form with the bright red-flowered plants that we have grown for some years. As we believe that these original plants with red flowers are true Primula sikkimensis, not hybrids, these apricot-coloured plants are also forms of the species. They are strong, vigorous plants, soon forming a good clump.
primula_sikkimensis.jpg Primula sikkimensis CC5730 is from a collection that was identified as being Primula stuartii, although it was immediately obvious from the appearance of the seed that it wasn't in that section. The confusion is surprising, as Primula sikkimensis is easy to identify when in fruit, with the individual flower stems held parallel to the main stem.
primula_sikkimensis3.jpg Primula sikkimensis CC5954 is a Chadwell collection from south central Tibet, which is consistently taller than most forms, but with typical soft yellow flowers.
IMG_7754.jpg Primula sikkimensis CC5986 is a Chadwell collection from Tibet, which is clearly Primula sikkimensis. So pale yellow, scented flowers, held outwards or downwards.
IMG_7754.jpg Primula sikkimensis CC6783 has stems with usually one, occasionally two, whorls of soft, sulfur yellow flowers. It is very variable, and wild collections may be consistently taller or shorter than the norm, or have larger flower, or paler yellow flowers. In this case it is a little taller than the average.
primula_sikkimensis3.jpg Primula sikkimensis ex Chola Shan is a collection from Chola Shan, and although the description given by the collector was "15-25 cm, flowers in 'heads', wet places", it is simply Primula sikkimensis, and a little taller than the average. It has stems with usually one, occasionally two, whorls of soft, sulfur yellow flowers.
primula_sikkimensis_red.jpg Primula sikkimensis claret hybrid come from seeds described as being a claret-coloured Primula sikkimensis hybrid. This sounds very like the second-generation plants that we raised from what appears to be a true Primula sikkimensis with bright red flowers, whose descendents have darker red flowers, and are thought to be hybrids with some other, as yet unknown, species.
primula_sikkimensis_red.jpg Primula sikkimensis including red-flowered SDR3233 grew beside a lochan at 4200 m. The seed produced several plants with gorgeous red flowers. So far as we can tell these are not hybrids, looking just like the species, and setting fertile seed.
primula_sikkimensis.jpg Primula sikkimensis var. pseudosikkimensis SDR4528 is a form from high altitude, where it grew in a wet scree of acid rocks. In the wild it was just 20 cm high, but when brought lower such forms often become of normal size. However, this does appear to remain shorter in cultivation. This species has stems with usually one, occasionally two, whorls of soft, sulfur yellow flowers.
primula_sikkimensis_pudibunda3.jpg Primula sikkimensis var. pudibunda is a dwarf form with one or two whorls of small flowers, pale sulfur yellow.
primula_sikkimensis_pudibunda3.jpg Primula aff. sikkimensis var. pudibunda is a dwarf form with one or two whorls of small flowers, pale sulfur yellow.
primula_sikkimensis_red.jpg Primula sikkimensis red are descended from a red-flowered plant of Primula sikkimensis, but we believe that these are hybrids of the red-flowered plant with another, unknown Primula. They are smaller than typical sikkimensis, but have the same shape of leaf. The flowers are attractive dark red when they first open, and the colour then fades, so that the farina inside the flowers becomes dominant.
primula_sikkimensis3.jpg Primula sikkimensis SDR3099 is from a wet meadow at 3800 m, where it was accompanied by the cream form of Stellera chamaejasme. This species has stems with usually one, occasionally two, whorls of soft, sulfur yellow flowers.
primula_sikkimensis.jpg Primula sikkimensis SDR4919 came from a wet hollow at high altitude, nearly 4700 m. This species has stems with usually one, occasionally two, whorls of soft, sulfur yellow flowers.
primula_sikkimensis4.jpg Primula sikkimensis SDR5933 is a collection of this species with one, occasionally two, whorls of soft, sulfur yellow flowers, from 3800 m. Sometimes plants from high altitude remain somewhat shorter than usual in cultivation, but this one is unusually tall, although by no means reaching our record of about 1.2 m.
IMG_7754.jpg Primula sikkimensis SDR7426 has stems with usually one, occasionally two, whorls of soft, sulfur yellow flowers. This is from central Nepal, towards the western end of the very extensive range of this species.