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The primulas are my favorites, so I will tell you a little about them in my page. I also have some photos, taken in my garden.
There are about 500 wild species of Primula. How many of the species we can grow in Sweden is not known, but some of them seems to be fully hardy. There are a few wild species growing in Scandinavia. They are P.veris, P.eliator , P.vulgaris, P.farinosa, P.scandinavica, P.stricta and P.nutans.
Most of the Primulas are asiatic, from Yunnan, Tibet and Himalaya. They are usually called The Asiatic Primulas. There are also species growing in Europe and in the North of America. P.magellanica is a species found in South america.
The species are divided into sections and subsections. The division is very complicated because of the different opinions about where a species should be placed. One species can also have many different names and hybrids are common in some of the sektions. I have decided to name my primulas according to John Richards (Wendelbo system) and his book PRIMULA (recommended) but the old PAX system is still used.
In latin PRIMULA meens "the first". Many primulas are blooming in the spring, but not everyone. P. florindae has a lovely smell and is blooming in July, in my garden. You can get yellow, red and orange colours and it is fully hardy in a moist place. A similar but smaller is P.firmipes. P.vialii is an other late primula, a little more difficult to grow, but very special.
Many primulas must be grown in moist soil in
a shady position, but there are some species for the rockgarden too. The auriculas are
wonderful plants for dryer positions.
If you are interested to know more about the auriculas - click on AURICULAS in the menu.
Some of the primulas can only be grown indoors (not winterhardy) in our region, among them you have P.obconica and P.malacoides. Many species have white or yellow farina (meal) that can give allergic reactions in contact with the skin. However, new hybrids are known to be safer.
Not all primulas are perennials, there are also annuals and biennials. A beatiful biennial is P. scotica in sektion ALEURITIA, it is endemic in Scotland. P.scotia is a relative to our P.scandinavica.
Primula is available in many different sizes, some are tiny plants like P. juliae , P.cuneifolia and P.x dinyana, some are very high, like some of the Candelabras.
The candelabras belongs to sektion PROLIFERAE. P.beesiana, P.bulleyana, P.x bullesiana (cross between P.beesiana + P.bulleyana), P.burmanica, P.japonica och P.pulverulenta are all perennial asiatic primulas. P.cockburniana is said to be a biennial, but not in my garden, where it is blooming in july. The candelabras are best grown in moist soil in a semi-shaded position, if you have a pond in your garden, this will be the best place for them.
In sektion SIKKIMENSIS, there are also some easy grown species, P.alpicola och P.x waltonii, from Sikkim in Himalaya.
Growing the most common species of Primulas from seed is quite easy (but of course there are some "tricky ones" too). I have tried almost 100 different species, and succeded with a lot of them. I start sowing in February and keep the pots in 15ºC for 4 weeks, if they germinate, I move the pots into the garage in +5?- +10ºC under light.
If they don´t germinate after the first treatment, I carry the pots out in the snow and cover them with a thick layer of snow and leave them there until spring.
In summer I put the plants in new soil and keep them in a semi-shaded position. The new plants are often kept in a coldframe during their first winter, covered with leaves and they are planted out in the garden the following spring. The pots that did not germinate will remain outdoors for at least two more years.
You can find all the primulas I grow and
some photos,if you click at the button <PLANTS>.
If you are interested in Primulas,
APS (American Primrose Society)
or Dansk Primula
Klub (a club in Denmark).
Links to societies in my <LINKS>.