Plant of the Month for Oct 2020

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. Zone 4-8.


Large clumps may be dug and divided after flowering. However, seed is the most common way to propagate this primrose.  They may be direct sown at 20 C.

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