Pronounced: PRIM-yew-la see-BOLD-ee-eye
Japan, China, Korea and Siberia.
Sunset zones: 1-6, 17.
USDA zones: 4-8.
Height: 8-10 inches (20-25 cm).
Width: 12 inches (30 cm).
Lilac, purple, pink or crimson flowers in umbels.
Deciduous, lance-shaped, hairy leaves. Leaves are late in appearing in May, later than most primroses.
Partial to dappled shade.
Moist, humus rich, well-drained, neutral to acidic soil.
In spring, side dress with compost or top dress with leaf mold and 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.
Rainy Side Notes
Snowflake-like flowers are held in open umbels of up to ten flowers with frilly margins in a variety of hues from lavender, deep pinks, whites and shades between. The delicate looking plant is a splendid woodland plant, although when our weather dries out in summer the primroses may go dormant until the rains return. They are easy to start from seed with many fine strains available.
In Japan where they use this primula as a traditional pot plant, they call it nihon sakurasoo, which translates as Japanese primrose. In the 1950s the plant was endangered because of pollution, where it grew along the Arakawa River near Tokyo. The residents collected them and preserved them for the future.
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.