Primrose Passion

When I look at plant catalogs or browse the Internet, especially on sites like Pinterest, I am always enamored with photos of primroses. This time of year in January, you will see the mass production of the hybrids all over the grocery stores. They are so bright and cheery, that I always have to buy one or two or three. I definitely have a primrose passion. I have often given them as gifts, especially to teachers around Valentine’s Day, when my kids were small. Who would not love a beautiful flowering plant in February?

Primrose Passion

Dino's Primrose ~ primrose passion ~ gardenmatter.com

I have found that the grocery store primrose does not last in my garden though I have tried. I do, however, have a beautiful patch of primroses that were generously shared with me by a dear friend who got hers from her dad, Dino, who was a great gardener. Dino’s primroses have been with me for quite a few years and are one of the first things to bloom in my garden.

Dino's Primrose patch ~ primrose passion ~ gardenmatter.com

You can see in the picture above that this primrose is slightly different from the grocery store ones. These have a bright yellow center, surrounded by pinky-red petals with the slightest white border. The flowers are grouped on stems like a tiny bouquet of their own. They flower for a short time while leaving the leaves for the rest of the season, and have managed to come back every year I’ve had them. So I did some digging to find out more about the specific variety of Dino’s primroses, so that I can have more primroses like them in my garden.

Primrose basket ~ primrose passion ~ gardenmatter.com

Let me tell you that it was not easy. I had no idea that they are over 425 species of the genus Primula which is the scientific name for primrose. In addition, every year, new hybrids are introduced, adding to the confusion.  I finally settled on the Primula polyanthus or Primula x polyantha from an article from Cornell University found here.

A couple of other standout primroses I would like to try are Primula denticulate and Primula auricula.

P. denticulate, also known as the “drumstick” primrose, comes from the Himalayan areas of Asia. It has a unique, lollipop flower cluster on top of fairly straight stems and loves a wet area of the garden.

P. auricula are extremely showy. They are a collector’s item for many, and you will even find that many people collect them and showcase them in “theaters,” which are open shelving units with a roof on top, to showcase the plants and shield them from too much rain or strong sun.  Check out some fantastic auricular theaters on Pinterest and some great close up pics here.

It’s that time of the season when I start to dream of garden plans for the upcoming new year, and this year, I am definitely adding some new Primulas to the mix.

drumstick primrose by Maja Dumat

drumstick primrose by Maja Dumat

Primula auricula by Delve 12

Primula auricula by Delve 12

Primula polyanthus by FarOutFlora

Primula polyanthus by FarOutFlora

Primula auricula by FarOutFlora

Primula auricula by FarOutFlora

 

Learn about this pretty spring bloomer and the many different yet all beautiful types and why many have a primrose passion.

 

 

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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Comments

  1. Mary Minard says:

    Dino is smiling down on those primroses! 🙂

  2. I love “Primroses” as well. Great article, but for those that are new to this sweet little plant would find cultural info helpful?

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