Primula Denticulate

Primula Denticulate is a species of considerable interest and beauty. It is rather vigorous in habit, with large oblong lanceolate toothed leaves, hairy on both sides, but densely so beneath, especially on the veins. The stoutish flower-stalks rise to the height of 9 inches or a foot in luxuriant individuals, and terminate in compact umbels of many small bright lilac flowers. It is a very hardy and accommodating species; for though usually classed among Alpines, it succeeds very well in the open border in most places where light rich loam and a dry bottom exist; but it is undoubtedly most at home on well-drained rock-work, where it can be liberally supplied with water during the growing season. Good rich loam, a little peat, and abundance of gritty sand, form the most fitting compost for it on rock-work, or in pots if it should be cultivated in them, as it occasionally is, for the decoration of the greenhouse and conservatory in sp ring. It bears a little forcing, and may be had in bloom a month or six weeks earlier than the natural flowering period by being placed in gentle heat in January and February. The flowers appear in April, May, and June. Native of the Himalaya.

Primula Denticulata Var. Nana

Under this name Messrs Backhouse of York recently introduced from the Himalaya a sort of Primula that must be considered a decided improvement on the older Primula denticulata, if it is not indeed entitled to be regarded as a distinct species. The leaves are similar in form and texture to those of Primula denticulata, the flower-stalks are stouter, and the dense umbels of bluish-purple flowers are nearly twice as broad, and the flowers are conspicuously marked with a yellow eye. It is a vigorous, hardy plant, and forms a striking object on rock-work or in pots. The same soil and treatment as for Primula denticulata.

Primula Cortusoides

Primula Cortusoides is a very pretty species from Siberia. It forms compact tufts of bright green heart-shaped bluntly-toothed leaves; the flower-stalks, slender and erect, are slightly shaggy with long soft hairs; the umbels are compact and rather large, and the flowers deep rose. It is a very showy species, and best adapted for the rock-work; rarely very satisfactory in the open border, except in the most favourable situations - not but that it is perfectly hardy as regards capability of resisting cold, only it requires a freer drainage at all times than generally can be secured at the ordinary ground-level. In summer, however, it will take astonishing supplies of water while making growth if the drainage is good. Sandy rich loam suits it best. Flowers throughout May, June, and July. A more robust and darker-flowered variety named Primula cortusoides amoena is in cultivation, but rare; it is remarkably distinct as a variety from this species. There is also a white variety of more diminutive growth, but still more rare, well worth cultivating, but difficult to keep up.

Primula Amoena

Primula Amoena is perhaps the finest of the denticulata section. The leaves are of the same form as those of Primula denticulata, but narrower and less acutely toothed; the flower-stalks are stouter, and rise to the height of 9 inches or a foot; the umbels are larger, as are also the individual flowers, which are bright lilac, with a clear pale eye. A moist but well-drained position on rock-work is the most suitable for it, and peat and loam, with plenty of gritty sand, the most congenial compost. Flowers in March, April, and May. Native of the Caucasus.

Primula Erosa, Syn. Fortunei

This is another near relative of Primula denti-culata, but quite distinct. It is about equal in stature, but the flower-stalks, which are rather stouter, are invariably mealy, except in starved individuals suffering from drought and continuous exposure to the sun. The flowers, which are somewhat larger than those of Primula denticu-lata, are purplish lilac, with a conspicuous yellow eye. It is a charming rock-plant, requiring the same soil and treatment as the others in this section. Flowers in March and April.

Primula Farinosa

Primula Farinosa is a species of altogether another type from any of the foregoing, but not less attractive and beautiful. It is compact, dwarf, and somewhat tufted in habit. The leaves are small, covered all over - on the under side densely - with mealy down of musky odour; the flower-stems rise 5 or 6 inches above the leaves, bearing many-fiowered umbels of deep rose-lilac or purple yellow-eyed flowers. It is a beautiful rock-plant, and should be provided with a well-drained but moist and moderately shady spot; in the growing season it can hardly be kept too moist. The compost most congenial to it is mostly peat, a little loam, and abundance of sharp sand. Flowers in May, June, and July. Native of Britain and other parts of Europe.

Primula Scotica

Primula Scotica confined, in Britain at least, to one or two localities in the north of Scotland, with broader leaves, shorter and stouter flower, stems, and broader and shorter lobes to the corolla, which is purple with a yellow eye, but in all other respects resembling Primula farinosa, is by botanists considered as only a well-marked variety of that species.

Primula Farinosa Var. Acaulis

Primula Farinosa Var. Acaulis is a remarkable and interesting variety, being almost destitute of flower-stem, and forming the small umbels of flower scarcely in relief of the mealy white foliage.

Primula Longijiora

Primula Longijiora is closely related to Primula farinosa, but is scarcely so showy. The style of growth and mealy foliage are similar, but the little umbels are less compact, and the flower-tubes, as implied in the specific name, are very long; it is, in fact, more interesting and pretty than showy. The soil and treatment recommended for Primula farinosa are what this species requires also. Flowers bright red in May, June, and July. Native of the Alps.

Primula Minima

This is quite a little gem, very diminutive, with small wedge-shaped, smooth leaves, rather boldly notched or toothed at the tops. The flower-stems are short, bearing usually only one bright rose-coloured, white-eyed flower, an inch or more in diameter. It is best adapted for rock-work, and should have the same soil and treatment as recommended for Primula farinosa. Native of the mountains of Switzerland and the Pyrenees. Flowers in April and May.

Primula Intermedia

This excellent Primula is reputed a hybrid between Primula minima and Primula ciliata. It is of vigorous growth, and resembles some of the varieties of Primula auricula in its smooth pale-green foliage, which is destitute of farina. The flower-stems are stout and erect, about 9 inches high, and support umbels of bright purplish-crimson flowers. Adapted for either the rock-work or mixed border in rich light sandy loam, well-drained but moist. Flowers in April and May.

Primula Stuartii

This is perhaps the finest of the yellow-flowered Primulas. It is a vigorous species, with long lanceolate acute leaves, sharply serrated, and covered below with pale sulphur-coloured meal. Flower-stems also mealy, rather stout, about 1 foot high, bearing an involucrate umbel composed of many large yellow flowers; involucre composed of many smallish leaves. The rock-work is most congenial to this species; it delights in abundant moisture in the growing period, but in winter it is very impatient of wet. Flowers in June and July. Native of Nepaul.

Primula Sikhimensis

This is one of the best of the yellow-flowered species, and is very distinct from the last-named. The leaves are oblong, rather blunt at the points, unequally toothed. The flower-stems rise to the height of 1 foot or more, bearing rather loose umbels of large pendant flowers of a pale-yellow or sulphur colour. Succeeds best on rock-work well drained, in soil the same as recommended for Primula Stuartii. It is, however, very impatient of damp in winter, though equally fond of it in summer, and in cold wet localities it would be advisable to keep a plant or two in pots in a dry cold frame to prevent loss of stock. Flowers in May and June. Native of the Himalaya.

Primula Palinuri

Primula Palinuri is another very beautiful yellow-flowered species. It grows to the height of about 9 inches or a foot, with smooth serrated spathulate leaves and a stoutish flower-stem bearing a lax umbel of large yellow nodding flowers. Succeeds in light rich loam, moist, but well drained, either on the open border or on rock-work. Native of the south of Europe. Flowers in April and May.

Primula Verticillata

This is a beautiful and elegant species, with the peculiarity as implied in the specific name of bearing the flowers in whorls. The leaves are oblong, almost lanceolate, sharply serrated, and mealy underneath - tube of the corolla long, and the colour yellow. It is a very desirable species, but requires the protection of a dry cold frame during winter in this climate. Flowers in March and April. Native of Egypt. Same soil and treatment in summer as the foregoing.

Primula Munroi

Primula Munroi is a very distinct and beautiful species. It is pretty robust in growth. The leaves are longish ovate, slightly cordate at the base. Flower-stem stout and erect, about 9 inches high, with a compact umbel of large white flowers. Very handsome on rock-work in gritty peat and loam; kept moist in summer and dry in winter. Flowers in May and June. Native of Northern India.

Primula Involucrata

Primula Involucrata is nearly related to the last-named species, but generally considered inferior to it. It is not so vigorous. Leaves in shape and texture similar, but not cordate at the base; flower-stems weaker, and the umbel fewer flowered. Flowers white in April and May-Native of Northern India. Soil and treatment the same as for Primula Munroi. \V. S.