Primula vulgaris AGM



Habitat: part shade


Soil: with humus


Height: 15 cm


Flowering: spring


Width: 15 cm

  primula_vulgaris4.jpg   primula_vulgaris3.jpg   primula_vulgaris_wild.jpg

  Primula vulgaris   Primula vulgaris   Primula vulgaris wild in Scotland

The Vernales section of primulas, correctly called section Primula, includes our beloved primrose, cowslip and oxlip, which are usually, but not always, pale yellow. There are also some bright pink species from further afield - not to mention the polyanthus hybrids, with appallingly vivid colours, fortunately kept away from us in municipal plantings in the middles of roundabouts.

Primula vulgaris - vulgar? Certainly not. Or does the name mean common, in the sense of plentiful? Not nearly plentiful enough. No, it was merely the most familiar to Linnaeus, who would probably have given this name to Primula sikkimensis if he had been Chinese. Anyway, lots of pale yellow flowers with orange centres, apparently on separate stems, although if you explore deeply enough you will find that they are actually an umbel.
9 cm pot £3.00

Primula Primula section (Vernales) - some other suggestions
primula_elatior.jpg Primula elatior is rare in Britain, but common in Europe. The oxlip has upright stems with clusters of flowers, rather smaller than those of the primrose, and of a similar pale yellow. This is a strain derived from plants that we believe originated in France, and which we have grown for many years. Occasional seedlings that appear to be hybrids with Primula vulgaris are weeded out, but it is possible that they could occur again.
primula_elatior.jpg Primula elatior 'Magnifica' represents seedlings of a selected form of the oxlip, with a name that does not appear to be generally recognised. Nevertheless the name does give the game away; it is a strong form with large flowers, perhaps a little paler than usual.
primula_gigha2.jpg Primula 'Gigha' is an excellent variety of the primrose, reliably producing its pure white flowers very early in spring, and from time to time throughout the year. It multiplies rapidly, and will soon form a good patch, particularly if the plants are split every few years.
primula_juliae.jpg Primula juliae is named after Julia Mlokosewitch, so we can be glad that this pretty Primula did not suffer the fate of the other plant named after her, Paeonia mlokosewitchii. This parent of well-known hybrids such as 'Wanda' makes a low mat, with the rich, deep, pink-purple flowers on very short stems above it.
primula_lady_greer.jpg Primula 'Lady Greer' has the general appearance and structure of an oxlip (Primula elatior), with short, upright stems, each bearing a small cluster of pale yellow flowers. It is a very reliable and easy plant, soon making a good patch of colour. It pays to split the clumps every few years.
primula_old_port.jpg Primula 'Old Port' has the general appearance of a primrose, with bright green leaves, but the flowers are port wine red. They continue over a long period in spring, and appear intermittently at other times. A very reliable garden plant.
primula_tatyana.jpg Primula 'Tatyana' is a very distinct primrose hybrid, vigorous and making mats with masses of flowers. These are very bright pink, shading to bright red towards the centre, but with a clearly defined yellow eye. What makes it stand out from other varieties is a clear white line along the centre of each petal.
primula_veris.jpg Primula veris is the cowslip, an old-time favourite, found decreasingly in meadows, in the shelter of hedges and at woodland edges, but increasingly on motorway embankments. The flowers, several to each stem, are smaller and richer yellow than those of the primrose, but backed by pale green calyces and stems, so the appearance from a distance is of a pale yellow.
invisible.gif Primula 'Wanda' is a hybrid of the primrose, Primula vulgaris, and the rarely cultivated Primula juliae, so it is a variety of the unpronouncable Primula x pruhonicensis. It makes a low mat, with the rich, deep, pink-purple flowers on very short stems above it.