Friday Flora: Drumstick Primrose

Look what I spotted yesterday …does this look like the typical spring primrose?  I didn’t think so either.   I kinda have the attitude “seen one primrose, seen ’em all,” but then I spotted this cool dude sitting on a shelf banging its head about every so often as the breeze changed direction.  It reminded me of an Allium but it wasn’t as tall and stiff.  This guy had some groove  and was a beautiful shade of light periwinkle blue/purple.  I took a closer look and to my surprise found his name to be Drumstick Primrose, (Primula denticulata).

What a fitting name I thought.  After closer examination and a little research this is what I learned:

Drumstick Primrose is very easy to grow.  He is a native of China, Nepal and Tibet so he likes the cold (down to -50F).  He offers a good range of color in shades of violet, blue, purple, pink, and white  and doesn’t care much about soil type (acid or alkaline).  What he does care about is being cool and staying hydrated meaning he prefers some light shade and moist/damp soil.  He is a spring bloomer that lasts quite a long time – a month or so and can serve as a cut flower too.

Drumstick Primrose comes back every year for a few years, maybe longer if divided.  Apparently he is a little difficult to locate, so if  you happen to find him try him.  I am!

Drumstick Primula Stats:

Zone: USDA 2 – 9

Bloom Time: Spring, for about a month

Light: shade

Height: 12 in

Growth Habit: Upright

Water: weekly during dry spells

Feed: A heavy feeder so benefits from nutrient rich, amended soil


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