After the gray/green/brown of winter, one of the first wonders of spring color are delightful primroses. They show up at the super market before they shake off winter in the garden and bud up, but by February some of the earlier ones bloom, many bloom into April. We have lost a few over the years, but primulas are hardy and most survive wintry dormancy for years. Enjoy! Be sure to click to see the pictures larger and enjoy the slide show!
Primroses, or primula, from the Latin meaning “first”, are the perfect NW spring plant. Though there are species of primula world-wide, most live in the northern hemisphere and China is often considered to be the evolutionary center the genus. There are many varieties that love our cool weather, and for folks living in woodland shade, primulas are a color dream come true. I have successfully grown P. vulgaris, P. veris (cowslip), P. sieboldi, P. vialli, and P. denticulata (called drum stick primroses). Slugs love the “common” P. vulgaris we refer to has Primroses, so I favor pots for those, but other varieties of P. vulgaris, as well as other cultivators, seem pest free. The double P. vulgaris are particularly hardy, forming large mats of tiny rose-like blooms. In pots or in the garden, they brighten a gray day!
(If you are interested in a trade, I have a few to give away)