A large genus of hardy and half - hardy plants, some members of which have been described under separate headings, viz.: the Primrose (P. vulgaris), the Chinese Primrose (P. sinensis), and P. obconica; the Auricula (P. Auricula); the Polyanthus (P. variabilis). Apart from these there are over 150 species, natives chiefly of the mountains of Central Europe, the Himalayas, China, and Japan, and it is possible that there are many more waiting to be discovered. The great majority are so scarce that they can never hope to be found outside botanical collections. For detailed particulars of most of them the reader is referred to the Practical Guide to Garden Plants, pp. 604 to 61 8.

Primula rosea.

Fig. 238. - Primula rosea.

Amongst those in which a trade is done at present the following may be mentioned: -

1. Primulas That Will Grow In Ordinary Good Garden Soil In Partially Shaded Places

Beesiana, flowers in tiers, rich velvety purple with yellow eye; Bulleyana, flowers closely set on stems 18 in. high, golden yellow suffused with deep orange outside; coriusioides, rose purple with several varieties; denticulata, globular heads of lilac flowers; white in the variety alba; Forresti, flowers canary yellow, fragrant, resembling a large cowslip, and borne on stems 15 in. high; lichiagensis, purple crimson, in the way of cortusioides; Littoniana, a striking plant with rosettes of silvery leaves, and rosy lilac flowers borne in pyramidal spikes 1 ft. high, reminding one very much of Orchis pyramidalis; Poissoni, deep purple with bright-yellow eye; Sieboldi (or amoena), in the way of cortusioides, with deep-rose flowers, varying in different varieties to lilac, lavender, mauve, pale blue, &c; Veitchi, flowers pink to rose.

2. Primulas That Like Moist Shady Spots And A Soil Rich In Humus And Old Mortar Rubble

Cockburniana, flowers orange scarlet in whorls on slender stems; Allioni, mauve; Arctotis (a cross between Auricula and viscosa), with white or lilac flowers; calycina, rose purple; capitata, rich violet purple, not quite hardy; carniolica, blue with white centre; farinosa, leaves mealy, flowers pale lilac, yellow centre; frondosa, leaves mealy, flowers rose lilac; glutinosa, flowers rich purple in dense heads; hirsuta, rose purple; integrifolia, purple rose; marginata, leaves with whitish margins, flowers violet rose or pale purple; Mauretiana (a hybrid between integrifolia and viscosa), with dense heads of deep-purple flowers; megasoefolia, distinct foliage, and flowers of crimson purple; minima, rose with white centre; pubescens, a hybrid with rosy-crimson flowers and yellow centre; spectabilis, fleshy leaves and deep rose-purple flowers; viscosa, leaves clammy, flowers rose purple with white centre, etc.

3. Primulas Requiring Damp Positions And A Leaf Mould Compost

Pulverulenta, foliage mealy, flowers rich blood crimson; involucrata, leaves bright green, flowers creamy white; japonica, a magnificent species with tufts of leaves 6-12 in. or more long, and flowers in several whorls on stems 2-3 ft. high, deep crimson, rose, purple to white according to variety; luteola, flowers in round heads, drooping, pale yellow; Parryi, bright purple with a yellow centre, from the Rocky Mountains; rosea, bright rose carmine (fig. 238); sikkimensis, a fine species with heads of drooping yellow cowslip-like flowers.

4. Primulas For A Cool House Or Cold Frame

Floribunda, flowers golden yellow, very free, easily grown; mala-coides, a new species, like Forbesi, but more compact, easily raised from seeds, flowers clear rose lilac, very popular amongst florists; Forbesi, loose habit, flowers rose lilac, very free; kewensis, a fine hybrid between floribunda and verticillata, with tiers of bright-yellow flowers. P. Winteri, a new species with flat rosettes of broad mealy leaves and stumpy trusses of pale to deep-mauve flowers.