Plant of the Month for June 2012

Primula glaucescens; photo by Todd Boland
Primula glaucescens

Description and general information

Primula glaucescens is endemic to the southern Alps of northern Italy, between Lakes Garda and Como. In the wild it grows in moist, humus-rich limestone cracks, slopes and banks.

This species belongs to the Auriculastrum section which includes the popular P. auriculaand P. hirsuta. This primrose has very distinct foliage; the stiff, evergreen leaves are smooth with cartilaginous margins, somewhat similar to finger-nails. The pink to lilac flowers have pale eyes and are held in small clusters atop 5-15 cm stems.


This primrose requires well-drained yet moist, humus-rich soil in a position that is shaded from the afternoon sun. Alkaline soil is preferred.

Bloom period

March in the south to June in northern areas.


Propagation is by seed,division and cuttings.


Seed sown at 20 C should germinate within 3 months.


After flowering, large plants may be dug and divided into smaller pieces.


After flowering, cuttings about 5 cm long may be taken. Remove living and dead leaves from the lower 2 cm of the stem. Allow the cut end to callous befoe striking them in a peat-sand mix. Place them in a cool, shaded area. They should root within a few weeks and provide plants for setting out by late summer or early fall.


1. Primulas, the Complete Guide by Mary A. Robertson.

2. The Genus Primula, the Cultivation and the Wild by Josef H. Halda.



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