Plant of the Month for September 2020

Primula alpicola
Primula alpicola

Description and General Information:
This primrose is native to the Tsangpo River valley of Bhutan and Tibet where it grows in damp to marshy alpine meadows at 3700-4600 m above sea level.  It often grows alongside Primula florindae but usually in drier areas. It was first collected by Frank Kingdon-Ward in 1926.  Plants produce a rosette of elongate 10-20 cm long matt-green leaves and flower stems 20-75 cm, topped with a loose cluster of nodding, fragrant flowers.  Blossoms, about 3 cm across, may be white, cream, yellow and mauve to deep purple.  The upper flower stem and flower buds are covered in white farina. Blooming season in the wild is June or July.

Blooming Season:
In warmer climates, blooming starts as early as late May but in northern areas, as late as early August.

This primrose prefers organic-rich, evenly moist soil in full sun (north) to part shade (south).  It is not fussy about the soil pH, as long as it stays reasonably moist.

Seeds; division

Large plants may be dug and divided in early spring as they emerge or just after flowering.


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