A Primula-rina

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this Primula that was showing promise to be a great Primula-rina!
Primula frondosa foliage

The Ballerina – Primula frondosa (a bit elongated in a container in early spring)

Last time when I had visions of dancing plants it was two years ago because of a twirling Arisaema – it is not that often to discover a first class ballerina!.

Primula frondosa is a dwarf, farinose primula endemic from Bulgaria where it grows on cliffs at 900-2000 m altitude, in partly shaded, moist crevices. It is very hardy and will show up from under the snow, with a tight silvery rosette (you may wish that it remains like that), but then the leaves expand and remain powdery only beneath (but the flowering stem and flower pedicels still covered in silvery hairs). A very floriferous primula: umbels with up to 30 pink, delicate flowers with a yellow eye in early spring.

Primula frondosa flowering

Primula frondosa in full bloom right now ( 2-3 seedlings were planted together in the fall)

Sometimes mistaken for P. farinosa (and vice-versa, but P. farinosa has white-farina on both side of the leaves, and it flowers much later). Both are commonly called Bird’s eye Primulas.

Propagation: very easy to grow from seeds (like other Primula spp.), and it will start flowering in the second year – soooo gratifying!


11 replies
  1. Amy Olmsted
    Amy Olmsted says:

    I just love the bird’s eye Primroses! I have three tiny seedlings coming along of farinosa..one had a flower stem that a chipmunk bit off just as it was opening!

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      I have ambivalent feelings about the chipmunks too (you can guess what I’m talking about). I am slowly becoming a big Primula fan!
      This year I only did a couple of which I look fw to see P. maximowiczii growing!

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