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Symbols of spring, prima rosa, appearing in the UK in woodlands, hedgebanks and grassy places and originating mainly in the northern hemisphere with almost half of species coming from the Himalayas.
Genus of about 400 species of mainly herbaceous perennials, some woody based and evergreen.
In groups of upright candelabras, the very diverse primrose/polyantha and the auriculas which include those with centres of white meal displayed as show auriculas.
Represented in the UK by the common P. vulgaris, the cowslip, P. veris (which makes a potent wine), a hybrid between them, false oxlip and the true oxlip. P. elatoir existing in a small area of boulder clay in East Anglia.
Around Yorkshire and Cumbria in damp, peaty places P. farinosa, the bird's-eye primrose grows and to the north on the north and north-west coast of Scotland. the similar P. scotica is native.
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Semi-evergreen - Keeps some of its foliage all year, and will drop some leaves as well.
Striped, Veined or Multicoloured
Height - 25cm (10in)
Spread - 30cm (12in)
Herbaceous - Early in the year, typically January till end of March, herbaceous plants might be supplied in 9cm pots to ensure timely despatch. - erect primula with ovate, sometimes red-tinged, mid green leaves 18cm (7in) long. Produces umbels of 3-12 salverform flowers to 3cm (1¼in) across.
Hardy - cold winter - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters. May not withstand open/exposed sites or central/northern locations. Plant can withstand temperatures down to -15°C (5°F)
Full sun - tolerates full sun if soil is kept moist.
Additional Features - Good to know - - Polyanthus Group primula. Divide between autumn and spring. In alpine house or frame use equal parts loam-based compost (JI No.2), leaf mould or peat, and grit
Pests & Diseases - aphids, leafhoppers, vine weevil, slugs, viruses, primula brown core, grey mould (Botrytis)
Place of origin - garden origin
Hardiness - Fully hardy -
Soil Conditions - Neutral to acid soil - - deep, humus-rich, moist soil
- Dividing Herbaceous Perennials - Video Tip ondemand_video
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- Summer propagation - Video Tip ondemand_video
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- Dead heading Delphiniums - Video Tip ondemand_video
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