Wednesday, 2 July 2014

In amongst the Primulas and Meconopsis

The Candelabra Primulas and the Meconopsis are coming to an end. The botanists have been at it again so the names of the first couple of Primulas pictured are now extra long, not only that, they have now changed the Section from Candelabra to Proliferae, as I keep saying...........life's hard enough!

Looking through a concentration of Meconopsis and Primulas

Meconopsis betonicifolia
Colour form Meconopsis 'Hensol Violet' which comes true to seed.

Primula bulleyana ssp. bulleyana - Proliferae Section

Primula bulleyana ssp. beesiana - Proliferae Section
Primula aurantiaca a much finer and more delicate member of the  Proliferae Section
Meconopsis x Sarsonii unfortunately the petals are damaged by damp.

Luckily two of the lower buds opened perfectly.
As the last of the Proliferae Primulas are going over Primula florindae takes over to extend the season.
Primula florindae emerging from the "cabbage patch" left over from the earlier Candelabra Primulas, sorry those of Section Proliferae!
Primula luteola - Aleuritia Section
Yes the botanists have been at it again, the Primula genus must be flavour of the year! What was once known as the Farinosae Section, easy; leaves and stem covered with farina, is now Section Aleuritia. I repeat "isn't life hard enough"!

16 comments:

  1. Amazing Primula collection! I know, isn't life hard enough. My head can't keep track. ;-)

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    1. Thanks, I love my primulas as you can see and luckily have ideal conditions to grow them.

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  2. You have great primulas, some of them I've never seen before. My primroses have already shed blossoms, so I have to wait till next year.

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    1. Thanks Dewberry, if you can grow primroses can you can grow plenty more species, please try them.

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  3. Stunning primulas and Meconopsis Rick. I made a bog especially to grow primulas and other bog plants. I put in a liner in a spot I had dug up and filled it with a mixture of sand and peat moss (because the local soil is very alkaline). However I suppose my acid bog is too poor or too acidic as the candelabra primulas I put in it survive but do not do well. I am planning to add compost this fall to see if it will help. In it I also have bog irises (setosa, ensata etc.) but, like the primula, they only survive. I had one bloom this year. Any advice?

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    1. Thanks Alain, you are quite right your mixture is too poor, peat moss, although a good soil conditioner does not have any nutritional value so basically the plants are starved. You need a good compost/loam mixed with about 25% peat moss and probably little sand, I would also be worried about the liner creating a stagnant area so even though you are on alkaline rocks I would be tempted to put some holes in it to aid the drainage. One thing you could do is build yourself a peat bed out of peat blocks if they are available to you. These could be used as a liner and a containment for a peat soil mix whilst providing natural drainage, Many choice alpines can be grown this way but it also lends itself to the type of plants you wish to grow. Hope this helps, please don't think I am trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs but I don't know how much experience you have with this sort of problem. Good Luck!

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  4. I read this post with great envy Rick. I long for the day my plants are as numerous as yours. Most of mine are going over but P. florindae has not quite arrived yet. We are experiencing very dry weather here and I'm having to keep up to date with watering so they don't fail. All my P. japonica Millers Crimson were coming along nicely and then gave up the ghost. I had thought that perhaps vine weevil larvae was the problem but on digging out the roots, not a sign. It's odd (too me anyway) it was only Millers Crimson that did this.
    The Mecs - need I say more, amazing!

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    1. Hi Angie, thanks for your comment, the only reason my plants are numerous is because I raise pretty much everything from seed, it does have its disadvantages in that you can finish up with more than you need and some seed, particularly that of the primulas, can be a bit slow and erratic to germinate but it does have its rewards. Luckily the candelabra primulas are generally easy to germinate and you can sow them one winter and have them in flower just over 12 months after germination so its not too painful a process. I can't comment on your Millers Crimson but then, as you know, gardening has its mysteries!

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  5. A wonderful collection ! Not impressed that 'candelabra' is now outmoded - it was so descriptive !

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    1. Thanks Jane, as you see I am not impressed either! Why do they have to change things to very often more unpronounceable names. The one I always think of is the lovely little Cheddar Pink, Dianthus caesius now Dianthus gratianopolitanus. What did the poor thing do to deserve that!

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  6. Oh, those purple Meconopsis are lovely! Not sure I have ever seen that colour before. Your collection of primulas is very impressive, I intend to do an order for quite a few this autumn and have picked many I like from your posts. Like you I am rather frustrated about the name changes of plants, I use only Latin names on my plants and it is difficult enough to remember the original name, let alone the new names!

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  7. Thanks Helene, the purple Meconopsis seem to come true from seed when you would expect that such a distinct form would only be vegetatively propagated which is odd in such a promiscuous genus. I wish you luck with your selection of Primulas and I am sure that under your controlled conditions you will be successful, although I am very envious of your London micro-climate at least I have ideal conditions for the Asiatic Primulas.

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  8. Hi Rick
    The name changes are a right pain, only one that sticks in my brain is, Cimicifuga is now Actea. What about those fantastic Primulas, time I got over the idea of them being a Spring plant only.

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    1. The Primulas are beautiful, the P.florindae are still going strong despite the hot weather, but I have to admit when planted in any numbers they do tend to leave a "cabbage patch" of green which is why I am currently looking at what I can use for inter-planting to give some later colour.

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  9. What gorgeous colour in your garden, your primulas look spectacular! I agree about the name changes, it all gets so confusing and I wish they'd leave things well alone!

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    1. Thanks Paula, ever since the scientists were able to use DNA testing for plant material the changes have come thick and fast and it can only get worse I'm sure.

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