European Alpine Primulas

Here’s a post from March that languished in my drafts overlooked.  Spring is long gone and these alpine primulas have long since given up their blooms…

Primula 'Nightingale'

Primula ‘Nightingale’

I’m looking forward to seeing some of our native alpine plants this spring hiking the Cascades. Meanwhile it’s mid-March in Puget Sound and some of my European alpines have begun to flower.

It’s hardly the same as stumbling across them blooming in their native confines, but short of  that, seeing  these plants in cultivation remains a treat.


European Alpine Primulas


Primula allionii x pubescens hybrid ‘Wharfdale Ling’

The alpine European primulas are tough plants and have been hybridized extensively, probably as far back as the 19th century.  The majority of these species from the tiny P. minima to the well-known P. auricula readily hybridize with each other and have led to the myriad of European hybrids, many named for the region or nursery that’s responsible for the plant.

Hybrids of P. marginata and P. allionii make some remarkable looking pot and trough plants.

Some of the smaller hybrids, probably crosses related to Primula x pubescens  (itself a naturally occurring hybrid between P. auricula and P. hirsuta) are so covered with flowers in the spring you’re hard pressed to see the leaves.

Primula 'Broadwell Milkmaid'

Primula ‘Broadwell Milkmaid’

4 thoughts on “European Alpine Primulas

  1. Pingback: Febrile February? | Rain Garden Arts

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