The primroses

The primroses

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Primula auricula

Perennial herbaceous plants from Europe, which produce a dense basal rosette made up of large oval leaves, greyish-green in color, in April-May from the center of the rosette rises a rigid and fleshy stem, 20-25 cm high, which brings an umbrella-shaped inflorescence, made up of roundish flowers with a golden yellow center and petals in contrasting colors, yellow, red, purple, blue, black and brown, often with the inner part of each single petal in a darker color. It has deciduous leaves and resists cold even in the harshest winters; they are placed in a partially shady place, excessive shadow can cause a low production of flowers.

Primula alpicola

Perennial herbaceous native to central Asia; from the basal rosette of leaves, of a light green color, a stem high 25-30 cm, on which numerous funnel-shaped flowers bloom, hanging, generally yellow in color, in summer; sometimes the stems carry more umbrella-shaped inflorescences. There are also varieties with white or purple flowers. These primroses can easily withstand the winter cold; they settle in half-shade, or in the sun if in constantly moist soil, for example near water gardens. The primula alpicola flowers are delicately scented.

Bulleyan primula

Native to the motuose areas of China, this primula needs constantly moist soil, and a semi-shaded position; forms large basal rosettes consisting of large dark green leaves; from late spring to summer it produces numerous erect stems, which bear umbrella-shaped inflorescens consisting of hanging flowers, tubular in shape, yellow or orange, which bloom in succession. It does not fear the cold, but it is very afraid of drought, it is therefore often placed near the small ponds, so that it can enjoy fresh and moist soil.

Primula cortusoides

Primula native to eastern Europe and central-northern Asia; produces basal rosettes of large green leaves with variegations or yellowish, finely toothed, rough zoning; from May to July thin stems rise from the center of the rosette, bearing inflorescences consisting of 8-10 bright purple flowers; these plants do not fear the cold, and need to be placed in a cool and partially shaded place, in a soil rich in organic matter; generally in ideal places to their development they tend to run wild and self-seed, constituting large bushes.

Primula denticulata

Perennial herbaceous plant with deciduous leaves, native to China and Tibet. It consists of small basal rosettes of oval leaves, of an intense green color, 20-30 cm high; throughout the spring, from March to June, from the rosette of leaves rises a thick and fleshy stem, 45-50 cm high, which bears a large roundish inflorescence, consisting of large bell-shaped flowers, bright pink, there are also varieties light blue or pure white flower, with a golden yellow heart. These plants do not fear the cold, and prefer partially shady, cool and humid locations.

Primula elatior

Perennial herbaceous native of Europe, it produces small clumps of oval leaves, light green, wrinkled; from the center of the heads of leaves at the beginning of the spring erect erect stems, slightly pubescent, bearing inflorescences, consisting of numerous yellow, orange or pink flowers; the inflorescence is 15-20 cm high. They prefer semi-shaded places, in rich and well-drained soil, but can also be cultivated in the sun; during the summer, if the temperatures are high, the plant goes into vegetative rest, the aerial dry part, to reappear the following spring.

Leafy primrose

Small perennial herbaceous plant native to eastern Europe; it forms thick bushes of spatula-shaped leaves, smooth, dark green on the upper side, white on the lower side. In spring it produces numerous fleshy stems, 8-15 cm high, which carry small flowers with four bilobed petals, of pink color, with a yellow center. It loves the semi-shady, fresh and humid positions; in areas with mild summers it can also be placed in the sun, in well-drained soil, even stony. Every single rosette of leaves produces numerous inflorescences.

Primula japonica

Originally from Japan, this primula develops large rosettes of dark green leaves, 15-20 cm high; in May-June from the center of the rosettes develops a thin erect stem, 50-60 cm high, which carries many buds arranged in a spiral, which bloom in succession. The flowers are white, pink, purple or red, with a dark red center. It prefers shady locations, which enjoy a few hours of sunshine a day, early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It loves the damp and cool places, possibly near small ponds; in ideal cultivation conditions it tends to self-seed, constituting large colonies. Generally in autumn the dry aerial part, developing more vigorous the following spring.

Primula obconica

Perennial herbaceous plant, generally cultivated as an annual; form basal rosettes 25-30 cm wide, consisting of large thin leaves, with a rough margin, carried by long thin petioles. From December to March it produces inflorescences on erect, fleshy stems, covered by a thin hair, the flowers have five heart-shaped petals, pink, red, orange or blue, often with a light margin. These primroses fear the cold, so they should be brought home in the fall; in general they are cultivated as annuals, both because the cold kills them, and because the blooms in the years following the first are gradually poorer, and therefore it is preferred to replace the old plants. They need to be grown in damp, cool and partially shaded places, and to be watered regularly.

Primula malacoides

Perennial herbaceous native to Europe; constitutes large rosettes of large, rough leaves, dark green, rounded, with a serrated edge; from the end of winter until late spring, from the center of the rosette of leaves develops an erect stem, 40-50 cm tall, on which numerous spiral inflorescences bloom, spaced 6-7 cm, one above the other, along the stem . The flowers bloom in succession and therefore you can notice inflorescences that carry buds, freshly opened flowers and withered flowers; the primroses malacoides are pink, white, red or blue, with a golden yellow center. They do not tolerate temperatures below -3 ° c, so they are generally grown as annuals, although they tend to be self-seeded; the plants can also be preserved by mulching the soil after the aerial part has completely dried up. Place in a shady, cool and moist place. Because these primroses begin to bloom in winter, it is also possible to plant them under a deciduous tree: the winter sun will be beneficial for this perennial that fears the cold, while the leaves of the tree will be of relief during hot summers. This primula is also grown in a container, as an apartment flowering plant.

Primula sieboldii

Perennial primula native to Japan and northern Asia. It consists of large clumps of dark green, wrinkled, elongated leaves, on which 25-30 cm high stems rise, bearing roundish inflorescences consisting of cup-shaped flowers, sometimes star-shaped, with lobed or jagged petals, white, red , pink, blue and bocolori, in spring; generally they bloom in succession. Place in a shady but bright, damp place; these primroses also bear full sun, but in this case they need very abundant watering. During the summer period if the temperatures are very high, the plant goes into vegetative rest, and the aerial part dries up completely. It does not fear the cold, but it is advisable to mulch the soil over the roots of the plant, to keep it moist; these plants tend to form large clumps consisting of several specimens, which can be divided after flowering; the flowers produced by the sown plants are not always identical to the flowers of the mother plant.

Primula veris

Primroses originating in Europe, often hybridize anturally with P. vulgaris; they have large oval, wrinkled and crunchy leaves, which were once consumed in salads; in many European countries they are protected species and cannot be harvested. Throughout the spring it produces numerous flowers, gathered in inflorescences supported by stiff and fleshy stems, slightly pubescent, 20-25 cm high; the flowers are trumpet-shaped, with a very elongated calyx; in general these primroses are yellow, orange and red. They love damp and cool places, they don't fear the cold; to settle in the complete or partial shade, where they easily run wild, self-seeding freely.

Primula avenues

Perennial herbaceous native to Japan and China. It forms dense basal rosettes consisting of lance-shaped, wrinkled, rigid leaves, from which in the spring develop long stems, 40-50 cm high, which carry a long conical inflorescence, composed of numerous small perfumed flowers, with an intense pink calyx and blue petals -Violet; the flowers open in succession starting from the base to the apex. Place in a shady and damp, cool place; these plants tend to autoseminarsi easily, forming large colonies, where every year the old plants are replaced by new specimens, having these perennials fairly short life. In winter the dry aerial part, it is advisable to mulch the soil over the roots, in order to keep it moist.

Primroses: Primula vulgaris

Perennial native of Europe; this primula can also be found easily in our forests, and it is the species from which the hybrids that are most easily found on the market derive; it forms small basal rosettes constituted by oval, fleshy, deeply veined leaves, of a bright green color; the single flowers bloom at the apex of fleshy stems, covered with a light down, are light yellow and delicately scented. Place in a shady but bright place, with moist soil but without water stagnation; if placed in full sun they need abundant watering. The summer sun causes the aerial part to dry out, the plant begins the period of dormancy, which will cease at the end of winter. The small yellow flowers of primulas vulgaris herald spring, already in February. It does not fear the cold.
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