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Primula (Primrose)
at Digging Dog

Including Primula denticulata, Primula polyneura, Primula waltonii, Primula florindae, and Primula elatior x

Primula

Primrose

Derived from the Italian primaverola, the name of this genus pays homage to the way its early blossoms welcome the spring. Many of the more than 400 species are at home in the moist climates of England, New Zealand and the Pacific Coast. The species we offer are cold hardy but can do well in warmer climates so long as they have ample soil moisture. Lovely in drifts, try planting them in a woodland garden, by a pond or streamside.

View a slideshow of plant images from this genus


Primula bulleyana  partial shade
Primula bulleyana

A treasured award-winning woodland perennial that brings tidings of sunny good cheer to damp shady nooks, this Himalayan native sends forth stout stems with 5 to 7 tiered whorls of crimson buds and scented bright orange-tinged butterscotch-colored flowers. The marvelous floral regale resides some 20 in. above a clumping semievergreen rosette, featuring red-tinged basal stalks and large round-tipped, oblong green leaves. Well-drained humus-rich soil helps maintain Primula bulleyana's steadfast undemanding stance.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 2' 0" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Primula bulleyana (P-0231)
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Primula capitata ssp. mooreana  partial shade
Primula capitata ssp. mooreana Primula capitata ssp. mooreana

Native to the coniferous forests of Tibet and southwestern China, Primula capitata was once used to cure headaches and please the palette in thick soups and rice. This species is named for its blue-violet, pincushionlike flowers that open face down in early spring.

We plant it by paths or steps in shady rock gardens so that we can sit and look at the silvery powder on the green stems. It can take full sun, but only if planted in a moist loam or boggy location.

Blooms April–June.

Size: 8"–12" high x 10" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Primula capitata ssp. mooreana (P-0212)
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Primula capitata ‘Salvana’  full sun  partial shade  new plant

Introduced by Jelitto Perennial Seeds in 2016, this splendid low growing Primula sports a soft-looking pewter-hued powder that dusts erect flower stalks as well as the top of each unique pin- cushion-style bloom. The attractive, low green basal rosette of oblong, white-haired serrated foliage anchors domed blue-violet clusters, each densely packed with tiny trumpet-like blossoms. Steeped in fetching detail, ‘Salvana’ yearns for an easily viewed cranny, cool summers and evenly moist well draining soil.

Blooms May–June

Size: 15" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Primula capitata ‘Salvana’ (P-2001)
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Primula denticulata var. Alba  partial shade  new plant

This endearing Primula’s native haunts include Afghanistan, the Himalayas and western China. A reliable harbinger of spring, snug winter buds reveal fragrant, 2 in. wide snowy white globes packed with miniature yellow-centered flowers on short stocky stems. Undeterred by cold weather, it’s long, obtuse lanceolate leaves form a nonfussy, handsome green clump that prefers dappled shade plus moist humus-rich nooks.

Blooms March–May

Size: 12" high x 10" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Primula denticulata var. Alba (P-2002)
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Primula denticulata ‘Blue Selection’  partial shade
Blue Drumstick Primrose
Primula denticulata Blue Selection

If a fairy majorette was out to beat the band, she’d be carrying the charming orbs of this Primula as her baton. Formed from plentiful, dark blue and golden-eyed, funnel-shaped florets, the dense 2 in. globes rest on stout stems above a textured, leafy whorl. A winner for the shady border, plant a drift of this long-lived selection with Euphorbia ‘Fern Cottage’ behind.

Blooms March–April.

Size: 12" high x 9"–12" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Primula denticulata ‘Blue Selection’ (P-0860)
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AVAILABLE FALL 2017


Primula ‘Dunbeg’  full sun  partial shade
Kennedy Irish Primrose Series

Cushioned by a dashing dark foil of deeply veined purplish bronze-laced foliage, the dainty soft apricot-hued flowers crest short firm stems, while showcasing slightly ruffled creamy edges plus golden eyes. In addition to the spectacular coloration, this floriferous Primrose's hardy, mostly evergreen habit is ideal in containers or easily viewed jewel-box plantings, savoring bright humus-rich, well-drained crannies.

Blooms February–April

Size: 6" high x 6" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Primula ‘Dunbeg’ (P-1948)
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Primula elatior x ‘Silver Lace Purple’  full sun  partial shade  new plant

Elaborate floral detail is this long-lived Primula’s hallmark. A 2009 Jelitto Perennial Seeds introduction, ‘Silver Lace Purple’ showcases ornate clusters of silver-rimmed, bright royal-purple flowers inlaid with golden eyes on steady stems. Well-suited for planting in rock work, along a path or near a bench, the noteworthy, oval-shaped semievergreen leaves comprise thick, compact midgreen rosettes that can be divided every 3 or 4 years.

Blooms April–May

Size: 10"–12" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Primula elatior x ‘Silver Lace Purple’ (P-1960)
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Primula elatior ‘Victoriana Gold Lace Red’  partial shade

Centered by a golden pool, each sumptuous flower holds overlapping mahogany red petals, exquisitely rimmed in gilded hues. Packed floral clusters present open-faced circular blooms on short stout stems above a trim lettuce green bed of rounded basal foliage that’s wavy edged and serrated. Conjuring the Victorian era’s ornate beauty, this hardy undemanding Primula can garnish a pathway, seating area, easily viewed container or any moist cranny with dappled light and ample airflow.

Blooms April–May.

Size: 10"–12" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Primula elatior ‘Victoriana Gold Lace Red’ (P-1770)
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Primula ‘Elizabeth Killelay’  full sun  partial shade

Steeped in opulence, fully double deep maroon blossoms are sweetly perfumed and spangled with glittery yellow margins and eyes. The long blooming flowers appear in tight clusters above scalloped oval-shaped pale green leaves that compose a sturdy textural clump. Well-suited for an intimate spot by a favored bench, this gorgeous seldom offered Primula polyantha cross appreciates adequate moisture and supplemental compost.

Blooms March–June

Size: 9"–12" high x 6"–12" wide; hardy to zone 3.

Primula ‘Elizabeth Killelay’ (P-1947)
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Primula florindae  partial shade
Primula florindae

This long-lived, robust native of shady Tibetan bogs boasts some of the largest flowers in the family. From a mound of serrated leaves, older mature plants display as many as 80 citron-colored flowers per umbel on tall stems, creating a virtual festival of fragrance.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 2' 0"–2-1/2' high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Primula florindae (P-1397)
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Primula marginata ‘Mauve Mist’  partial shade
Auricula Primrose

Dawdling throughout the limestone-rich areas of France and Italy's Maritime and Cottian Alps, this unique evergreen Primula promotes low growing waxy rosettes defined by thick deep-toothed blue-green leaves dusted with an alluring silvery white powder. Large, cut-flower-worthy clusters of fragrant flat-faced lavender-colored flowers further enhance the lovely soft foliar shades. Cherished as one of the most attractive early spring Primulas for an alpine garden, rockery, trough or pot, easily grown 'Mauve Mist' develops from a reliable woody rootstock, fends off deer and rabbits, and relishes a brightly shaded, sharp draining abode.

Blooms March–April.

Size: 6"–8" high x 6"–8" wide; hardy to zone 3.

Primula marginata ‘Mauve Mist’ (P-1815)
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Primula x polyantha ‘Dawn Ansell’  partial shade
Primula polyantha Dawn Ansell

A cottage garden darling introduced by Welsh plant breeder Dr. Cecil Jones, easily cultivated ‘Dawn Ansell’ charms us with fluffy double white flowers, reminiscent of miniature rose blossoms. The luminous clustered blooms are nestled into a unique ruff of small green leaves above larger crinkled rich green foliage that fashions a vigorous spreading clump. Celebrating an early and long flowering period, this Primula vulgaris and Primula veris cross cherishes bright shady nooks with moist humus enriched well draining soil.

Blooms February–April

Size: 6" high x 6"–8" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Primula x polyantha ‘Dawn Ansell’ (P-1894)
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Primula polyneura  full sun  partial shade  new plant

A denizen of northwest China, this delightful long-lived perennial debuts whorled rosy red blooms, each with 5 notched petals clutched by a striking orange eye and variable pink to burgundy overtones. The adorable blooms linger on tall slender stems above an attractive, cold-hardy fuzzy-backed mound of palmate scallop-edged green foliage. Though P. polyneura’s robust clump-forming habit is easily cultivated, it does prefer cool shade, plentiful humus and moist well-drained soil.

Blooms April–May

Size: 15" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Primula polyneura (P-2003)
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Primula rosea ‘Gigas’  partial shade
Primula rosea Gigas

One of the loveliest Primulas, ‘Gigas’ pretties up the garden in early spring with carmine-pink flowers. Adorning stout stems, numerous brightly colored blooms gather in good-sized umbels before the rosettes of notched green leaves fully develop. Tuck this small-scale performer into the front row amid Luzula ‘Solar Flair’ and Pulmonaria ‘Little Star’.

Blooms March–April.

Size: 8"–10" high x 9" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Primula rosea ‘Gigas’ (P-1131)
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Primula vialii  partial shade
Primula vialii

The pyramidal, Kniphofia-like flowers of this highly unusual Primula are bicolored, with purple at the base and reddish fuchsia at the apex. Perched atop 15 in. stalks and oblong, blunt-tipped green basal foliage, they provide fragrant, fanciful accents either in large drifts or surrounded by Aruncus and Viola ‘Rebecca’.

Blooms June – July.

Size: 12"–15" high x 10" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Primula vialii (P-0233)
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Primula vulgaris ‘Double Lilac’  partial shade
Primula vulgaris Double Lilac

Steeped in charm and easily grown, this hard-to-find old-fashioned Primrose promises to please with nearly evergreen foliage and a blooming season, extending from spring to fall. A plentiful showing of rose-like buds and splendid lilac-pink double flowers adorn broad textured spring green foliage that forms a generous long-lived clump.

Bright shade, well-drained soil and above average moisture will ensure its success.

Blooms May – September.

Size: 6"–8" high x 6"–8" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Primula vulgaris ‘Double Lilac’ (P-1489)
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Primula waltonii  partial shade
Primula waltonii

Slender stems elevate white powdered calyxes and pendent clusters of lampshade-like flowers, which range in color from soft violet-pink to claret. Indigenous to Tibet’s alpine meadows, this charmer’s narrow round-tipped green leaves are oblong and serrated, crafting lustrous rosettes that flourish in a cool moist, but bright well-drained locale.

Blooms June – July.

Size: 12"–16" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Primula waltonii (P-1668)
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AVAILABLE LATE AUGUST 2017

       


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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

staff favorite plant

All of us here at the nursery, including our clambering kitty and digging dogs wish you joyous merrymaking this holiday season with family and friends. While your garden fall into its winter slumber, may visions of a new gardening season take root in your dreams, and happy digging to all!

Left: Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’ Center: Correa ‘Dusky Bells’Right: Primula capitata ssp. mooreana

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