Primula – Primrose, English Cowslip,
Hardy Primroses are showy
plants which fit in well with any Spring bedding design.
The small flowers are graceful and dainty and the varieties
can be so chosen that they will be in bloom from April
for a month. Primroses grow from 6 inches to 18 inches
high and have light green, hairy leaves. The colors
of the hardy sorts range from white to the darkest crimson
and yellow. Some of the varieties are double, and others
present this appearance because the petals are wavy
and crinkled. The hardy sorts of Primroses are derived
from Primula elatior, P, veris and P. vulgaris.
These are much of one type, the flowers being borne
in umbels or clusters of six to twelve flowers. There
is, however, another interesting species, P. japonica,
the Japanese Primrose, which bears the flowers so
that one umbel, or cluster, is above another. The colors
vary from rich dark crimson through the intermediate
tints to white. The petals are of a heavy texture and
waved. Almost all the varieties of Primroses are worth
growing and wherever planted, they increase in beauty
and interest with each succeeding year.
UTILIZE. Primulas make delightful
subjects for the rock garden, edging a shady border
or against old walls. They naturalize readily along
streams, woods or shrubbery and are also suited for
growing in porch boxes or in pots. The flowers are fragrant
and make splendid cut flowers.
GENERAL. Primulas are not
difficult to grow, yet they reward one for any amount
of trouble. One of the first requisites is to keep the
soil moist. The plants will die if they are allowed
to pass through the dry Summer months without plenty
of water. Primroses should be planted in rich, well
drained soil in a shaded nook in order. to protect the
plants from the hot sunshine during the Summer. Slight
protection during Winter is needed, such as a light
mulching of leaves and straw. In the Fall, if the crowns
of any of the plants are above the surface of the soil,
these plants should be taken up and reset. Primroses
resent a great deal of cultivation; good, rich soil,
partially shaded quarters and plenty of moisture are
all they need.
PROPAGATION. Primroses are
usually propagated by seeds sown in March in a coldframe
or in May to July outdoors in shaded places. The seed
should just be scratched into the surface soil and firmed.
The plants can also be divided early in Spring or in