"The violet & the primrose too
Beneath a sheltering thorny bough
In bright & lively colours blow
And cast sweet fragrance round."

-Welsh ballad,


This bright blue primrose (Primula x acaulis 'Blue' aka P. vulgaris) is shown in April flower. This one's in a primrose bed in a full-sun & sometimes droughty location, which is not ideal for primroses which would prefer dappled sunlight & persistent moisture.

Even so, these do fine, flowering well in March & April, occasionally longer. The clumps' capacity to be evergreen is defeated by the hardship of summer in this exposed position, yet the following late-winter the primroses re-emerge very nicely.

In a more protected spot they often freshen themselves in late summer or early winter when temperatures drop & rains return, & can flower (less overtly than in spring) at any point from September to November. Such a rebloom period is more likely with deadheading of the first spring flower.

Blue with yellow eye, this is one of those standards that are sold in front of grocery stores & drugstores each spring, nothing fancy, very cheap. The blue is surprisingly reliable at perennializing; not all those many colors can say the same.

Blue primroses are also available as seeds that can be sewn directly into the garden & lightly covered with soil at any time from late May to early summer.

They can actually be seeded just about any time during the year in cool climates, so long as it is so hot that they'd get cooked to death as seedlings. Although the adult clumps tolerate conditions well outside their ideal, when getting started from seeds evenly moist soil is pretty much a must.

Germination period is irregular & unpredictable, being dependent on garden condition & weather patterns, but predictable if done in coldframes with some control of their conditions.

They germinate fast if started in moist soil when temperatures are in the upper sixties Fahrenheit, but they should be kept cooler after seedlings appear since they're easily heat-exhausted when getting started. They can be put into their permanent spots in about ten weeks. But if the seeds are planted late or left to the vagaries of the open garden, they may not appear in earnest until the following spring, which does them no harm.


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