A potpourri (below) of primrose/cowslip/Primula species
information as a supplement to other articles.
A plant-based page rather than our usual topic-based page. It's
a pivot point, one list of links to ours and
others' articles that involve Primulas.
We're just introducing this set of perennial info pages. This
page is in process but Aster's
page is complete. We hope you'll take a look there and comment. Let
us know if the format was useful, share your suggestions, tell us
we shouldn't have this page at all... anything helps.
They're called primrose, primula, cowslip, or oxlip, with
various modifiers (purple, spring-, English-, Turkish- etc.) The
prim in both common- and scientific name refers to prime, first --
a nod to their early blooming time.
Excluded here, the plants in genus Oenethera that are
called primrose -- day primrose, evening primrose, sundrops
The Primula primroses are spring blooming cuties in
every color, the flowers held close like a posey against evergreen
foliage as in P. vulgaris or held high as on candleabra
type (P. japonica is one). All they need is moist, well
drained soil, a few hours of sun each day, a reasonably long cool
spring and perhaps some slug protection.
Primula polyanthus, perhaps the most commonly sold
hybrid primrose, is supposed to be hardy only to zone 7 but we see
it perennialize often enough in zone 5 to be pretty sure that there
must be quite a few zone 4 P. vulgaris genes in some
varieties. That, or it's not cold but dry summers or exposed
winters that kill P. polyanthus. Where they persist over
winter we can divide these plants (below) repeatedly to
create the proverbial primrose path.
Various Primulas hold their flowers high and are called
candleabra- and drumstick primroses. Hardy species (zone 4) in the
group are P. beesiana, P. japonica (below),
and P. denticulata. Where they're well sited they can become
impressively large clumps and the flower stalks may be 24"
Read more about primroses
subtopic: Article name/link