Saturday, 15 February 2014

Primula update.

The weather is appalling and the garden saturated so I decided to update my Primula Page with a few more examples of this wonderful genus that I grow. Rather than just hide these away I thought I would brighten up the day by previewing them as a post first of all, if you would like to see the page just click here.

Primula tanneri ssp. nepalensis

Primula  gracilipes.
Both of the above primulas are members of the Petiolaris Section although Primula tanneri is in the Griffithii Subsection which have been rather overshadowed by some of the more "special" members of the Petiolaris. P. tanneri dies back completely in winter, whilst P. gracilipes retains some small leaves in tight rosettes. I have grown P. gracilipes for many years and find it very easy unless it becomes too dry, it also divides readily, the new plants quickly establishing themselves. This section generally hail from the Himalayas and China.

Primula waltonii
Primula waltonii is a Sikkimensis Section primula which wasn't included with some of its fellow section members on the first part of the Primula page. It is superficially very similar to the Candelabra Section (Section Proliferae) primula: P. wilsonii seen below. I raised these at the same time and am as certain as I can be that the species are correct but it is not easy to tell from the photographs.Tibet.

Primula capitata Noverna Deep Blue
Primula capitata Noverna Deep Blue was grown from T&M seed and is an extremely successful plant. A member of the Capitatae Section the heavily farinosed stems and flatish flower heads are quite distinctive, like most Asiatics it likes a cool gritty acid compost to give of its best. Short lived but sets plenty of seed. Eastern Himalayas.

Primula deflexa
A Muscarioides Section primula, Primula deflexa has the distinctive Muscari shaped flower cluster from which the section derives its name, the best known example being Primula vialii. Typically, like most Asiatics it prefers a well drained but moist soil.

Primula bellidifolia
Another Muscarioides Section primula, Primula bellidifolia clearly gets its name from the bell shaped flowers. Interesting rather than beautiful! Primulas in this section are typically from the Himalayas, Tibet and Eastern China.

Primula flaccida syn. nutans
Although this photograph is of a very young plant which is not carrying many blooms it gives a hint of the beauty to be seen on a more robust specimen. A member of Section Soldanelloides, this, to my mind, is primula royalty. Not too easy to grow it requires a peaty, gritty compost definitely inside where its other asset of a marvellous scent can be appreciated. Unfortunately this does not show the rosette of soft green hairy leaves which are also beautiful in themselves. Yunnan, China.

Primula handeliana
A Nivales Section (now Section Crystallophlomis) primula from sub-section Maximowiczii, like Primula maximowiczii this Asiatic is a strong grower, it has large strap-like leaves and delicate yellow flowers carried on strong stems. I raised seed of Primula szechuanica but this turned out also to be P. handeliana, apparently quite a common error although the flower shape is totally different.
Primula maximowiczii

  Primula maximowiczii, a Nivales Section primula which comes from China. These young plants, in a cold mini-tunnel, are from seed that was cold sown in spring the previous year although they will flower in the same year from an early sowing. They like cool moist acid conditions and being strong growers do better with regular division.

Primula ellisiae
After all the Asiatic primulas Primula ellisiae hails from New Mexico. this is a beautiful plant which appears to be quite a strong grower, I have some planted outside this winter and fear for their safety as I do not think they are too happy in very wet conditions, and we certainly have those.

Primula wilsonii
Candelabra Primulas like, Primula wilsonii are apparently now in a new section, Section Proliferae, I can't keep up with the Botanists! It is closely related to Primula poissonii which I also grow. See Primula waltonii above. China.

Other than Primula's waltonii, wilsonii and gracilipes all the others are overwintering inside a cold mini poly tunnel or, where plenty of plants are available, have been planted out in a slightly raised piece of ground with plenty of grit and peat added to the soil along with some of the Farinosae Section primulas raised inside which can be viewed on the Primula Page.

Looking forward to some of the beautiful things to come has certainly brightened up my day.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Up close and personal with DDT.

Couldn't resist this picture of a WW2 soldier being sprayed with DDT against mosquitoes and typhoid carrying lice.