American Primrose Society (Primulas) – Seed List

Althaea - Perennial Plant, How to grow Hollyhocks

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Julia Haldorson, Treasurer

PO Box 210913,

Auke Bay. AK 99821 USA
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This section contains small, often farinose, plants that inhabit marshes or stream beds. They are excellent subjects for troughs, planters, or shady rock garden. The flowers maybe lavender, pink, rose, or white. Many have a brief life cycle and can be propagated easily by division or seed.

gemmifera ex. COX 6017halleri col. Porin Hills, 2,500 m.
modesta var. fauriaescotica


These species are without farina, usually small, moisture and shade-loving. In nature, they grow in meadows and bogs and will not tolerate drought conditions. They can be propagated best by fresh seed and division.



These rhizomatous, evergreen plants often have lobed leaves with distinct petioles. The most common, P. sinensis, is not hardy in winter frost areas. Primula sinensis has distinctive, bonnet-shaped calyces.

sinensis mix col. Deyiang, Sichuan, China, hardy


This section contains leathery-leaved, evergreen alpine plants which, when not in bloom, are often mistaken for succulents. Many are commonly grown in a moist section of the rock garden. Some of the exhibition auricula hybrids have been cherished by gardeners for centuries. Propagation is by offsets or seed.

hirsuta integrifolia
Auricula Hybrids
Auricula, alpine, gold centered, rust/orangeAuricula, alpine, mix HP
Auricula, black self HP
Auricula, border,mix HP
Auricula, double
Auricula, exhibition, alpine
Auricula,’Field House Mixed’
Auricula, garden, mix
Auricula, garden, ‘OldIrish Green’, green-edged/black
Auricula, garden, pale yellow
Auricula, garden, whiteAuricula, garden, yellow
Auricula, green-edged HP
Auricula, mix, Dickson Strain
Auricula, ‘Old Irish Green’ x ‘Macbeth
Stripe’, some stripes/black/red HP
Auricula, ‘Paradise’
Auricula, self, yellow HP


As the name implies, the flowers are contained in dense head-like umbels. Plant parts are generally farinose and hairy. White farina dusting the dark purple flowers adds to the charm of these late-flowering plants. Plants need partial shade with adequate summer moisture and good drainage. Propagate by fresh seed or division after flowering.

capitata ssp. mooreana


These woodland species are deciduous, or rarely evergreen, with soft, hairy leaves. The stems hold umbels of white, pink or purple flowers well above the leaves. Some species, like P. sieboldii , can be found in a wide variety of flower colors and forms. Easy to cultivate, they can be propagated by seed or division as the leaves emerge in the spring.

kisoana alba x kisoana (pink) HPkisoana (pink) x kisoana alba HP[9]
latisecta HP
mollis HP

palmata HP
sieboldii Dancing

Ladies, white w/rose, lavender or pink reverse sieboldii Galaxie (Winter Dreams, Pago-pago, Manakoora, Dancing Ladies, & Tah-ni mix) sieboldii

Manakoora, light & mid blues, violets sieboldii mix sieboldii

Pago-pago, mix of rose & red sieboldii Tah-ni, mix of heavily fringed forms
sieboldii, Winter Dreams, white


These tall, stately plants inhabit wet meadows, screen, or bogs.

The species are deciduous, forming large winter resting buds. They do best in a cool summer climate, but the vigorous root system needs good drainage during wet winter months. Propagate by seed or division.

longipes col. Kackar Tag., Turkey 3,200 m.


This section contains small, alpine tundra plants with glossy green, dentate leaves. Flowers, typically white, pink or rose, are held above the leaf rosettes in generous umbels. They are best grown in partial shade in pots or troughs in a well-drained, peaty soil mix, with some protection against winter wet. Propagate by seed, division or cuttings.



This is the “Drumstick Primula” section. These robust perennials send uptight, spherical flower heads early in the spring. Flowering often occurs just as the long, leathery leaves are emerging from a winter resting bud. Easy to cultivate, most species can thrive in any soil condition, provided they do not dry out in the summer. Plants can be propagated by seed, division or root cuttings.

denticulata ‘Alba’
denticulata ‘Blue Auslese’denticulata, dark wine
denticulata ‘Rubin’


As the name implies, these species often bloom only once. The most common, P. malacoides , is a popular plant for a cool greenhouse or conservatory. Not hardy in cold climates, they are often used as an early blooming, bedding plant in warmer areas. The hairy leaves with farina on the underside combined with clouds of purple, rose, lavender, pink or white

flowers make an attractive container plant. They can be easily grown from seed.

malacoides mix


These short-lived perennials contain some of the most striking and unusual primulas. In nature, they are found in wet meadows as the snow recedes. All have deciduous basal leaves and spikes or dense heads of small, usually fragrant, flowers. P. vialii resembles a red-hot poker with scarlet calyces and blue violet flowers giving the appearance of a blue poker with a red tip. It flowers later than most primulas. All species are propagated from seed or division.

deflexa ex. ACE 2283muscarioides
watsonii ex. COX 6019


These small to medium-sized perennials bloom very early in the spring. Above smooth-textured, toothed leaves rises a stalk of bright rose pink, yellow-eyed flowers. The leaves continue to elongate as the blooming season progresses. The most commonly grown species, P. rosea , is best grown in a rich, wet soil that does not dry out in the summer. Propagation is by the division as it comes into spring growth or by seed.

rosea ‘Gigas’


The best known of the primula sections, this one includes the common primrose (P. vulgaris ), the cowslip (P. veris ) and the oxlip (P. elatior ) as well as many horticultural important hybrids. Easy to grow in fertile, water-retentive soil, they can be free-flowering and long-lived. Most are winter hardy, by should not be allowed to dry out in the summer. Propagation is by division after flowering or by seed.

amoena HP
elatior col. Iron Mountainselatior var. pallasii col.
veris, red
veris ssp. columnae vulgaris col.Primula Hybrids
Acaulis, Barnhaven doubles
Acaulis, double HPElizabethan polyanthus mix
Elizabethan primrose mix, (Hose-in-hose, Jack-in-the-green, Jackanapes, Pantaloons, Gallygaskins & Jackanapes-on-horseback)

Juliae hybrid HP
Juliana hybrid, Footlight

Parade, stalked pink to raspberry to salmon
Juliana hybrid mix, stalked yellow & red
‘New Garryards’ HP
Pick & Mix, some HP Pick & Mix (hose-in-hose, juliae hybrids, gold-laced, doubles, ‘Cowichan’, etc.)

x polyantha
x polyantha, near white
Polyanthus, Barnhaven Hybrid mix
Polyantus, ‘Cowichan’, amethyst
Polyanthus, ‘Cowichan’, blue

Polyanthus, ‘Cowichan’, garnet
Polyanthus, ‘Cowichan’ mix
Polyanthus, ‘Cowichan’, Venetian (hot pink & strawberry reds)
Polyanthus, ‘Cowichan’, yellow
Polyanthus, Daybreak, dark stemmed whites & pinks

Polyanthus, Gold-laced, dark ground HP
Polyanthus, Gold-laced, best red ground HP
Polyanthus, Gold-laced, x Polyanthus
Polyanthus mix

Polyanthus, Muted Victorians, lavender, violet, blue, buff

Polyanthus, Old Rose Victorians
Polyanthus, Striped Victorians, blue & violet
Polyanthus, Valentine Victorians, pinks w/ white centers


Earlier named the Candelabra Section, the flowers appear in whorls on tall stalks. These robust perennials are easy to grow in a moist, fertile soil that does not dry out. They make excellent bog or streamside plantings that flower in May and June. The flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Depending on the species, the flowers can be found in almost every color except blue. Propagation is by division as they come into growth or by seed.

Candelabra,Ceperly Hybrids, lilac w/yellow eye
Candelabra, Ceperly Hybrids, orange to

rich gold
Candelabra, Ceperly Hybrids, peach w/yellow eye

Ceperly Hybrids, pink w/yellow eye
Candelabra hybrids, mixed

Candelabra, white
chungensis bulleyana hybrids, Ceperley Strain,

pastel shades x bulleesiana hybrids
bulleyana, orange/yellow

burmanica helodoxa
japonica, fuchsia
japonica ‘Glowing Embers’

japonica ‘Mandarin Red’
japonica ‘Millers’ Crimson’

pink mottled w/white
japonica ‘Postford White’
japonica, white

japonica, white/pink, dark red
poissonii (isolated)

wilsonii, white


Small to very robust, deciduous perennials are found in this Himalayan section. Their natural habitat is a monsoon climate in bogs, alpine meadows or along streamsides. The largest and most commonly grown species (P. florindae, P. sikkimensis, P. alpicola ) are excellent choices for the bog garden or along streams. The yellow, fragrant, farinose flowers of P. florindae and P. sikkimensis are held in umbels on stems from 12 to 30 inches tall making a striking statement in a semi-shady location. Propagate by division or seed.

alpicola, mostly yellow alpicola, yellowalpicola/florindae hybrids
alpicola var. alba
alpicola var. violacea

florindae, mixed
florindae, orange
florindae, orange-red
florindae, red


With flowers like a very fragrant soldanella, these plants are extremely beautiful but somewhat difficult to grow. The bell-shaped white or lavender flowers are very large in comparison to the small stature of the plant. They are usually grown in containers with a humusy, but well-drained soil mix that is watered regularly in the summer, but kept almost dry in the winter. The containers should be placed in a cool, semi-shady location during the summer. They are best propagated by seed.

reidii var. williamsii (mixed)


The species in this section are not hardy in colder climates.

However, they make excellent container plants in a cool room or conservatory.

The bright yellow flowers appear from December to April above leaves often covered with a white meal. A peat-based soil should be kept rather dry during the winter and moister during the summer months. Hybridization of two of these species gave rise to the popular P. x kewensis . Propagation is primarily by seed.



Some experts list this monospecific group as a separate genus; one source classes it as a subgenus and section of primula. Primula grandis has pale yellow, nodding, urn-shaped flowers with a style that extends beyond the petals. An umbel containing large numbers of flowers tops a sturdy stalk about 30 inches tall. The basal leaves are rounded with a heart-shaped base. These plants require adequate moisture, nutrients, and a cool, partially shady location. Propagation is primarily by seed.



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