GIANT COWSLIP, GIANT HIMALAYAN COWSLIP, NUTMEG PRIMULA
Sunset zones: A2, A3; 3-6, 15-17.
USDA zones: 3-8.
Height: 36 inches (90 cm).
Width: 8-16 inches (20-40 cm).
June to July.
Umbels of about 40 very fragrant, tubular or funnel-shaped, nodding yellow flowers.
Deciduous, ovate, toothed leaves.
Partial shade. Full sun if soil is kept moist at all times.
Moist, humus-rich, neutral to acidic soil. P. florindae will thrive in standing water or streamsides.
Side dress with compost or manure. Fertilize monthly, spring through early summer with a complete organic fertilizer.
Sow seed and keep at 64-71°F (18-22°C) for 2-4 weeks; then move to temperatures at 24-39°F (-4 to +4°C) for 4-6 weeks. | Divide in early spring.
Pests and Diseases:
Aphids or spider mites may be a problem.
Rainy Side Notes
Of all the primroses, Primula florindae is the most fragrant of them all with a wonderful nutmeg scent. It is the largest of the primroses, as well as the latest in the season to flower. Himalayan plant explorer Frank Kingdon-Ward named this primrose after his wife Florinda.
Imagine a problem wet area in your garden, planted with the giant Gunnera manicata and sweeps of Giant cowslip at their feet. Add a few Japanese iris for a spikey contrast and you have the makings of a beautiful bog garden. All these plants are perfectly suited to grow in boggy conditions. Problem solved! P. florindae can be grown in regular garden conditions as long as supplemental water is given during our annual summer drought.
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.