A few words
about six marvelous miniature hybrid primulas which remain rather little known
in America although they have long been grown and admired by European growers.
The first and probably best known of the group is P.x berninae "Windrush". P.x
berninae is a fertile hybrid of P. latifolia x p.hirsuta which occurs over a
rather wide area of the west central Alps on the borders of France and Italy.
The cultivar "Windrush" was grown from seed in the early 1920`s by Paul
Rosenheim. It is a very compact form with l arge pink-purple flowers and is a
very floriferous, easily grown primula. A perfect candidate for pot and trough
culture where it appreciates part sun and good drainage.
"Pink Ice" is a vigorous hybrid of P.allionii x p.pubscens "Harlow Carr". This
is the perfect choice for the grower who wants the perfection of form and
beauty of P.allionii without all the difficulties. This plant is compact,
strong growing and buried under a bloom of large, crystalline pink flowers for
several weeks in spring. Not to be confused with the P.allionii cultivar "Pink
"Beatrice Wooster" is an intentional, artificial hybrid of the same cross as
one which has been found several times in nature. In this case the cross was
P.allionii x p.marginata "Linda Pope". The resultant plant is one of neat,
dwarf habit and produces a heavy bloom of pink flowers with a white eye.
Another easy choice for pot culture.
I think that
the easiest to please and most satisfactory P.allionii hybrid that I grow is
P.allionii x p.villosa. This is a wonderful little compact mound of slightly
viscid, bronze foliage with a mass of stemless rich violet-purple blooms with a
prominent white eye. This hybrid often produces a worthwhile fall bloom as well
as its spring extravaganza.
One of my
favorite dwarf primula hybrids is P.x loiseleuri "Lismore Yellow" reportedly a
cross between a white form of P.allionii x P.auricula raised from seed by Mrs.
J.A.Burrow. The plant has foliage which is larger and less sticky than
P.allionii and remains an attractive dark-green year round with a strong bloom
of soft yellow flowers in spring. Easily grown and soon forms a large plant.
brightest colored bloom of the six primula discussed in this article belongs to
P."Ethel Barker". This is a very free flowering hybrid of P.allionii x
p.hirsuta with rather long, down covered foliage held on long petioles. The
foliage mound is very compact and light green. Stunning blooms of deep,
carmine-red with a white eye will stop you in your tracks when you see a well
grown plant. The plant was grown from seed by Mr. Frank Barker in the 1930`s
and is still one of the best hybrids around.
Give some of
these beauties a try and brighten your late winter and early spring show in the
alpine house or cold frame.
Proprietor [253 847-9827]