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Hardiness Zone Map


Primula

Primrose

Derived from the Italian primaverola, the name of this genus pays homage to the way its often early blossoms welcome spring. Many of the more than 400 species are at home in the moist climates of England, New Zealand and the Pacific Coast. The selections we offer are cold-hardy, yet will need ample water in warmer locales. Lovely planted en masse, Primroses are ideal for woodland gardens, damp borders, by a pond or streamside.

<i>Primula elatior</i> ‘Victorian Gold Lace Black’

Blooms April–May

Size: 8" – 10" high x 8" – 16" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Primula beesiana</i>

This irresistible Chinese candelabra was discovered by plant hunter George Forrest while exploring Yunnan’s Li-Chiang mountain range on a 1906 collecting trip. A textural basal green clump of large, finely serrated lanceolate foliage plus upright slightly curving sturdy stems host stylish, whorled rosy-carmine flowers that exhibit varied floral tints, yellowish orange eyes and frosty-looking calyces. Undemanding Primula beesiana promises a prismatic presence, especially when massed in a bright moist border or at water’s edge.

Blooms June–August

Size: 12" – 18" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Parented by Primula bulleyana and Primula beesiana, this exceptional Primula possesses the best traits of both parents. Hoisted atop tall upright leafless stems, the tiered tightknit whorls showcase  salver-shaped flowers unfurling in gorgeous hues that range from salmon-apricot to terracotta, but occasionally include cream, rose and lavender shades. The perfect-for-cutting candelabra-like blooms plus vigorous medium green basal rosette thrive in cool well-drained adequately-moist sites, but pout in summer heat and southeastern humidity.

Blooms June–July

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Primula bulleyana</i>

A treasured award-winning woodland perennial that brings tidings of sunny good cheer to damp shady nooks, this Himalayan native sends forth stout stems with 5 to 7 tiered whorls of crimson buds and scented bright orange-tinged butterscotch-colored flowers. The marvelous floral regale resides some 20 in. above a clumping semievergreen rosette, featuring red-tinged basal stalks and large round-tipped, oblong green leaves. Well-drained humus-rich soil helps maintain Primula bulleyana's steadfast undemanding stance.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 2' 0" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Primula capitata</i> ssp. <i>mooreana</i> <i>Primula capitata</i> ssp. <i>mooreana</i>

Native to the coniferous forests of Tibet and southwestern China, Primula capitata was once used to cure headaches and please the palette in thick soups and rice. This species is named for its blue-violet, pincushionlike flowers that open face down in early spring.

We plant it by paths or steps in shady rock gardens so that we can sit and look at the silvery powder on the green stems. It can take full sun, but only if planted in a moist loam or boggy location.

Blooms April–June.

Size: 8" – 12" high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Primula capitata</i> ‘Salvana’

Introduced by Jelitto Perennial Seeds in 2016, this splendid low growing Primula sports a soft-looking pewter-hued powder that dusts erect flower stalks as well as the top of each unique pin- cushion-style bloom. The attractive, low green basal rosette of oblong, white-haired serrated foliage anchors domed blue-violet clusters, each densely packed with tiny trumpet-like blossoms. Steeped in fetching detail, ‘Salvana’ yearns for an easily viewed cranny, cool summers and evenly moist well draining soil.

Blooms May–June

Size: 15" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Primula cockburniana (P-0236)

Each $9.00

2023 AVAILABILITY

Lounging in damp alpine meadows and alongside the rivers of southwestern Sichuan, this AGM winner touts fiery hued flowers coupled with a dainty demeanor. Pillowed by whitish farina-coated stems, open flower heads hold burnt tangerine and copper-colored blooms above a finely toothed medium green basal clump that’s not especially long-lived, though it effortlessly reseeds to ensure future generations. Its floral brilliance deserves a front row seat in well-drained borders or easily viewed patio containers.

Blooms May–June

Size: 12" – 15" high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

This endearing Primula’s native haunts include Afghanistan, the Himalayas and western China. A reliable harbinger of spring, snug winter buds reveal fragrant, 2 in. wide snowy white globes packed with miniature yellow-centered flowers on short stocky stems. Undeterred by cold weather, it’s long, obtuse lanceolate leaves form a nonfussy, handsome green clump that prefers dappled shade plus moist humus-rich nooks.

Blooms March–May

Size: 12" high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Primula denticulata</i> ‘Blue Selection’

If a fairy majorette was out to beat the band, she’d be carrying the adorable dark blue orbs of this Primula as her baton. Formed from plentiful, yellow-eyed, funnel-shaped florets, the dense 2 in. globes rest on stout stems above a textured leafy base. A winner for the shady border, plant a drift of this enduring selection with Athyrium ‘Regal Red’ behind. 

Blooms March–April

Size: 12" high x 9" – 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Primula</i> ‘Dunbeg’

Cushioned by a dashing dark foil of deeply veined purplish bronze-suffused foliage, the dainty soft apricot-hued blooms promote slightly ruffled creamy edges and golden eyes upon short firm stems. ‘Dunbeg’s hardy, mostly evergreen habit is ideal in containers or easily viewed jewel-box plantings, delivering spectacular colors plus flowers galore, while savoring bright humus-rich, well-drained alcoves.

Blooms February–April

Size: 6" high x 6" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Primula elatior x</i> ‘Silver Lace Purple’

Elaborate floral detail is this long-lived Primula’s hallmark. A 2009 Jelitto Perennial Seeds introduction, ‘Silver Lace Purple’ showcases ornate clusters of silver-rimmed, bright royal-purple flowers inlaid with golden eyes on steady stems. Well-suited for planting in rock work, along a path or near a bench, the noteworthy, oval-shaped semievergreen leaves comprise thick, compact midgreen rosettes that can be divided every 3 or 4 years.

Blooms April–May

Size: 10" – 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Primula elatior</i> ‘Victoriana Gold Lace Red’

Centered by a golden pool, each sumptuous flower holds overlapping mahogany red petals, exquisitely rimmed in gilded hues. Packed floral clusters present open-faced circular blooms on short stout stems above a trim lettuce green bed of rounded basal foliage that’s wavy edged and serrated. Conjuring the Victorian era’s ornate beauty, this hardy undemanding Primula can garnish a pathway, seating area, easily viewed container or any moist cranny with dappled light and ample airflow.

Blooms April–May.

Size: 10" – 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Steeped in opulence, fully double deep maroon blossoms are sweetly perfumed and spangled with glittery yellow margins and eyes. The long blooming flowers appear in tight clusters above scalloped oval-shaped pale green leaves that compose a sturdy textural clump. Well-suited for an intimate spot by a favored bench, this gorgeous seldom offered Primula polyantha cross appreciates adequate moisture and supplemental compost.

Blooms March–June

Size: 9" – 12" high x 6" – 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Primula florindae</i>

This long-lived, robust native of shady Tibetan bogs boasts some of the largest flowers in the genus. From a mound of serrated green leaves, older mature plants display as many as 80 citron-colored blooms per umbel on tall stems, creating a virtual festival of fragrance.

Blooms June–August

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Primula marginata</i> ‘Mauve Mist’

Dawdling throughout the limestone-rich areas of France and Italy's Maritime and Cottian Alps, this unique evergreen Primula promotes low growing waxy rosettes defined by thick deep-toothed blue-green leaves dusted with an alluring silvery white powder. Large, cut-flower-worthy clusters of fragrant flat-faced lavender-colored flowers further enhance the lovely soft foliar shades. Cherished as one of the most attractive early spring Primulas for an alpine garden, rockery, trough or pot, easily grown 'Mauve Mist' develops from a reliable woody rootstock, fends off deer and rabbits, and relishes a brightly shaded, sharp draining abode.

Blooms March–April.

Size: 6" – 8" high x 6" – 8" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Primula</i> x <i>polyantha</i> ‘Dawn Ansell’ <i>Primula</i> x <i>polyantha</i> ‘Dawn Ansell’

A cottage garden darling introduced by Welsh plant breeder Dr. Cecil Jones, easily cultivated ‘Dawn Ansell’ charms us with fluffy double white flowers, reminiscent of miniature rose blossoms. The luminous clustered blooms are nestled into a unique ruff of small green leaves above larger crinkled rich green foliage that fashions a vigorous spreading clump. Celebrating an early and long flowering period, this Primula vulgaris and Primula veris cross cherishes bright shady nooks with moist humus enriched well draining soil.

Blooms February–April

Size: 6" high x 6" – 8" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Touted as the longest blooming of the species, ‘Francesca’s unique signature is her plentiful ruffled celadon-green flowers with glowing yellow eyes. Poised on erect stems well above a textural deep green rosette, the exquisite floral display wafts a sweet perfume plus lasts for several weeks in cut arrangements. This trim compact Primula makes a steadfast semievergreen addition to containers, courtyards and border edges, while relishing bright shade, adequate moisture and chums like Brunnera ‘Mr. Morse’ or Corydalis ‘Porcelain Blue’.

Blooms mid-March–June

Size: 12" – 14" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Primula polyneura (P-2003)

Each $8.75

AVAILABLE FALL 2022

A denizen of northwest China, this delightful long-lived perennial debuts whorled rosy red blooms, each with 5 notched petals clutched by a striking orange eye and variable pink to burgundy overtones. The adorable blooms linger on tall slender stems above an attractive, cold-hardy fuzzy-backed mound of palmate scallop-edged green foliage. Though P. polyneura’s robust clump-forming habit is easily cultivated, it does prefer cool shade, plentiful humus and moist well-drained soil.

Blooms April–May

Size: 15" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Primula rosea</i> ‘Gigas’

One of the loveliest Primulas, ‘Gigas’ pretties up the garden in early spring with carmine-pink flowers. Adorning stout stems, numerous brightly colored blooms gather in good-sized umbels before the rosettes of notched green leaves fully develop. Tuck this small-scale performer into the front row amid Luzula ‘Solar Flair’ and Pulmonaria ‘Little Star’.

Blooms March–April.

Size: 8" – 10" high x 9" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Primula vialii (P-0233)

Each $9.25

PREORDER FOR 2023

<i>Primula vialii</i>

The pyramidal, Kniphofia-like flowers of this highly unusual Primula are bicolored, with purple at the base and reddish fuchsia at the apex. Perched on 15 in. stalks above oblong, blunt-tipped green basal foliage, the fanciful blooms provide perfumed accents either in large drifts or surrounded by Aruncus aethusifolius and Epimedium ‘Purple Pixie’.

Blooms June–July

Size: 12" – 15" high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

Primula vulgaris ssp. sibthorpii (P-2204)

Each $9.00

PREORDER FOR 2023

<i>Primula vulgaris</i> ssp. <i>sibthorpii</i>

Blooms February–April

Size: 4" – 6" high x 6" – 8" wide.

Zone 4b/5.

<i>Primula vulgaris</i> ‘Double Lilac’

Steeped in charm and easily grown, this hard-to-find old-fashioned Primrose promises to please with nearly evergreen foliage and a blooming season, extending from spring to fall. A plentiful showing of rose-like buds and splendid lilac-pink double flowers adorn broad textured spring green foliage that forms a generous long-lived clump.

Bright shade, well-drained soil and above average moisture will ensure its success.

Blooms May – September.

Size: 6" – 8" high x 6" – 8" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Primula vulgaris</i> ‘Sunshine Susie’

Certain to cajole a smile, this endearing semievergreen cultivar was bred in the 1950s by Primula maven Florence Bellis, who resided near Portland, Oregon. ‘Sunshine Susie’ has a lot to flaunt: fully-double posies that unfurl for months plus a long-lived amenable bent that tolerates heat and drought more than most Primulas. Resembling miniature roses, oodles of clustered, 1 in. wide buttercup-yellow flowers don pink and salmon shades as they mature above winsome basal rosettes of crinkled oval-shaped lush greenery. Enriched soil with good drainage and consistent moisture sustains ‘Susie’s sunny mood.

Blooms March–June

Size: 6" – 8" high x 6" – 8" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Primula waltonii (P-1668)

Each $8.75

FALL AVAILABILITY

<i>Primula waltonii</i>

Slender stems elevate white-powdered calyces and pendent clusters of lampshade-like flowers, which range in color from soft violet-pink to claret. Indigenous to Tibet’s alpine meadows, this charmer’s narrow round-tipped green leaves are oblong and serrated, crafting lustrous rosettes that flourish in a bright, yet cool locale with moist well-drained soil.

Blooms June–July

Size: 12" – 16" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our feature plant: Primula vulgaris ssp. sibthorpii

Precious Primulas, Prized Pulmonarias and Fabulous Foliage!

Primulas offer elaborately-crafted colorful blooms in varied shapes,……

including draped bells, candelabras, drumsticks and pincushions. Many Primrose flowers  waft a delectable scent. Second-to-none for the dappled recesses of your garden, these easily grown, cold-hardy Primulas crave well-drained, humus-rich niches with adequate moisture and good air circulation. They can grace containers or be planted in swaths along shady walkways or in woodland gardens. Be sure to peruse our online Primulas.

Prized Pulmonarias……

One of the earliest perennials to bloom, you can be picking their enchanting urn-shaped flowers in February while the rest of the garden still slumbers. Many cultivars showcase an array of mercury-hued dapples, speckles and spots, while others sport solid pewter sheens or striking silver streaks. Easy-to-grow Pulmonarias prefer the lacy light of a woodland setting plus cool moist soil. Our newsletter also includes a handful of other shade-loving perennials that promise alluring foliage. Many of these perennials can be partnered with Pulmonarias for intriguing foliar contrast. You may wish to check out our online Pulmonaria offerings.

All of us plant and paper wranglers wish you good health and happy digging!

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