Arctic primroses

As far as my feet will carry me (see the note)

Overnight, new seedlings have started to sprout. They always seem to appear suddenly, but it’s all about perception. The ‘human’ measure of the time is way different than the ‘plant time’. Things you cannot change (like the weather), embrace them! Among others, this year I am growing an arctic primrose: Primula tschuktschorum, the Chukchi primrose.

Primula tschuktschorum seedlings

Primula tschuktschorum seedlings

According to the Flora of NA, this primula grows only in the Bering Strait region of Alaska, between the Seward Peninsula and Bristol Bay, “occasionally in coastal areas and more commonly at higher elevations in the mountains around late-lying snowbanks.” There is taxonomical confusion with its ‘sister taxon ’ primula, P. pumila (or P. eximia), which is usually called arctic primrose, but it will be easy to differentiate between the two later. My seeds were of garden origin anyway, and I could do with any of them.

Primula tschuktschorum

Primula tschuktschorum – photographed in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

Note: If someone wonders about the name, I tried to find out its roots; my best guess is that it relates to the Chukchi Peninsula of Russia (there are other plant and mammals species of the arctic bearing the epithet tschuktschorum).
In the past, it served as a Soviet prison camp, and there is a book with a very appropriate title: “As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me” by J.M. Bauer, which describes the experiences of a German WW II soldier who escaped from the gulag.

2 replies

Comments are closed.