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.


14 comments:

  1. Wow do you grow all those Rick! I am seriously impressed. Although I grow a lot on my moist soil I completely fail with many including the 'easy' mop heads- can't think of the proper name. Those I do have I just let seed around and even hybridise but I don't generally remember all their names. I love the alpines and dwarf auricula types that I mainly grow in tubs and pots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Roger, strange as it may seem my damp shady garden allows primulas along with meconopsis to flourish particularly the robust candelabra primulas and the likes of Primula florindae. To be honest many of the ones shown were originally intended for my cold mini tunnel but I have grown bolder and have found many of them survive outside although they are planted into a pocket of "ideal" medium and only when I have plants to spare! Unfortunately the auricula types are basically lime lovers so don't suit me although the "basic" auricula was a plant that you could see everywhere in local gardens way back when. If I can make it to your open day this year I will bring a boot-full of candelabras.

      Delete
  2. Lovely to see all your different types of Primula, I have added to my collection recently and have now also got 3 small Primula beesiana – looking forward to seeing them in flower, hopefully this spring.
    I had a look at your Primula page too, great work and a good reference should I need another couple of primulas :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Helene, glad you like the pictures, I have a few more to add as I have plants from seed still growing on. Although I do tend to grow most of my plants from seed I am contemplating buying in a few choice specimens just 'cause I want to and have not sown anything this year other than some home collected seed.

      Delete
  3. The weather has been appalling Rick, pleasant change yesterday though. Some crackers of Primulas, flaccida syn. nutans, is my favourite of this lot. I have quite a number of garden Auriculas and like Roger I have them in terracotta pots, a grower once told me he found they actually do better in plastic pots. I was thinking of planting them in the ground but perhaps the soil gets too wet for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather seems to be picking up Alistair so fingers crossed. Unfortunately as the soil here is acidic auriculas are not an option but they do lend themselves to pot culture; as you will know the Victorians loved their Auricula Theatres a practice which is still followed today, although they do tend to stick to clay pots.

      Delete
  4. Glad you pointed this out Rick. I have noticed Rhododendrons in our garden looking healthy, which is an indication of the acidity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of the rock in my immediate area is sandstone merging into gritstone at the base of the Pennines. The nearest big outcrop to you is the famous Alderly Edge which is sandstone but there is a massive outcrop of gritstone running through the Cheshire Plain into Staffordshire, which means the whole area is pretty much acidic. It is not until you go East that you get limestone as you traverse from the Dark Peak to the White Peak to places such as Buxton and into Yorkshire.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful Rick. I do have a bit of a thing for Primula and am always attracted to them. I purchase a couple of new ones at the SRGC show last weekend P. Calderiana and P. Forrestii. I've yet to do a wee bit of research on them. I need to be off now to look at your Primula page.
    I do love P. Maximowiczii - I bought one last year and am pleased to see it seems to be enjoying my garden - there is a lovely plump crown putting on new leaves now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like the Primulas Angie, P. Maximowiczii is one of my favourites too, is very popular for exhibiting yet will thrive outside. I am trying more and more plants outside in my garden, they are certainly frost-hardy but some very much dislike winter damp like most alpine species.

      Delete
  6. What beautiful primulas, Rick - I did start some from seed last year but have to confess that I managed to neglect the ones that germinated. I must try again as of course they would be lovely in the woodland edge border

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, unfortunately primula seedlings are very intolerant of drought so if you turn your back for two minutes they will perish. Please try again there are loads to choose from.

      Delete
  7. I love primulas and have tried several times to grow various types from seed with little success. I think the seed needs to be really fresh as when I have grown primrose/polyanthus types they have freely seeded themselves and flourished. As for native primroses seeds gathered from my own plants and sown immediately germinate well but buy a packet of seeds and hardly anything germinates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you have hit the nail on the head Sue, the seed must be as fresh as possible and I always find they germinate better from a winter sowing. I normally get mine from the societies but this year I decided I had enough to do so didn't bother, however I have now ordered a few packets from Chiltern Seeds and will be interested to see how they go on.

      Delete