The common primrose (Primula vulgaris), also called the common primrose. This herbaceous perennial plant is related to the genus Primula vulgaris. In natural conditions, it can be found in northern Africa, in Central Asia, in Europe and the Middle East. The existence of this plant became known many hundreds of years ago. Even the ancient Greeks knew it as a medicinal flower of Olympus (flower of the 12 gods).
Primrose is one of the first to bloom in the spring. In popular use it is also called the "keys" or "lambs. Thus, the ancient Scandinavian saga says that these lovely flowers of the plant are the keys to the fertility goddess Freya, and it is through them that she opens the spring. And Germans believe that these plants are the key to marriage. This flower is present in the love potion of the Celts and Gauls.
According to a Danish legend, a princess of the elves, who happened to love an ordinary man, turned into this plant. In ancient Greek myth it is said that the young Paralisos, who died of love, was turned into a primrose by the gods, who were sorry for his misfortune. And so the primrose is able to heal all diseases, even paralysis, because in folk medicine, this flower is also called "paralytic herb" for a reason. In Europe it began to be cultivated since the 16th century. Primrose is much loved by the British, so, in England, there are even clubs of fans of primrose auricula.
There were times when the popularity of the primrose became weaker, but then it gained even more love. Today in England every year there are exhibitions of primroses, where one can admire these beautiful flowers in plenty.
Peculiarities of the primrose
This genus is among the most numerous. According to various sources it has 400-550 species. However, even today one can find such species in the wild which have not yet been described.
Thus, in Europe there are 33 species, in North America only 2, and only 1 in Java, a few species each can be found in Africa and South America and over 300 species can be found in Western China, Asia and the Himalayas. It prefers to grow in damp places such as river banks, along streams and in meadows.
Behind the ground this flower has a rhizome with roots. The root rosette consists of dissected or simple lancet-shaped oblong-oval leaf laminae. Both sessile and petiolate leaflets are found.
Leaf blades can be found both wrinkled and leathery, which are dense and have a greenish-gray tint (they appear to be slightly covered with wax). The flower stalks are quite long and have no leaflets on them. Flowers can be both solitary and as part of inflorescences, which have the most diverse form, for example, spherical, tiered, umbrella-shaped, pyramidal, pillow-shaped, as well as bell-shaped. Flowers are tubular in shape and have a funnel-shaped or flat bend. The fruit is a ball or cylinder-shaped achene.
Garden primrose is found as an annual and perennial, and such a flower can also be grown in room conditions.
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Growing primrose from seeds
Sowing primrose seeds.
Seeds lose their germination after a very short time, so they simply must be sown immediately after harvesting. This is done by using boxes that are set in open soil. If you have good quality seeds and you don't want to take any chances, you should sow them in the first days of February. To do this, the box should be filled with a mixture consisting of turf and leaf soil and sand (2:1:1). The seeds should be distributed on the surface and not deepened into the soil, but only slightly pressed.
Make sure that 1 square centimeter is no more than 5 seeds. After that you have to put the box into a polyethylene bag and put it into a freezer, where it won't be warmer than minus 10 degrees. There they should stay for 3 to 4 weeks. Then the boxes right in the bags are placed on the windowsill, not forgetting to protect them from direct sunlight. Just make sure the soil is slightly moist all the time.
The seeds will germinate most quickly at a temperature of 16 to 18 degrees. But it is worth considering that not all types of these plants will need freezing. So, fine-toothed and common primrose do not need this stratification. The first sprouts usually do not appear soon. Once they do, start opening the bags little by little so that the plants get used to the air.
After about half a month, you can remove the cover for good.
Sprouts are slow-growers. When 2 or 3 true leaves have developed, the plants should be pickled into another crate using tweezers. Primulas should continue to be cared for by moistening the soil in a timely manner. Nesting is carried out as the plants grow.
Generally, the seedlings will not be ready for transplanting into open soil until a couple of years after the seedlings appear.
Putting primroses in the open ground
Primula planting in the garden, May 12, 2016.
What is the best time to plant
In the open soil, primrose perennials should be planted in the spring or fall and definitely in their second year. In spring time, it is best to do it in the last days of May. For such a plant, it is recommended to choose an area that will be shaded by shrubs or trees, and direct sunlight should not be at all.
Only for alpine species in northern regions a sunny spot is recommended. Suitable soil should be loose and light, absorbent and well-drained (water should not stay in the soil for long). You can grow in clay soil. If clayey soil is very heavy you can remedy this by adding a couple of kilos of manure, a bucket of sand, crushed sphagnum and vermiculite (proportion per square meter of soil).
How to plant a primrose
A space of 20 to 30 centimeters between bushes (for large species) and approximately 10 to 15 centimeters (for compact species).
Note that such plants do not like open spaces. Therefore, plantings should be made so that they become closed as they grow. A plant grown from seed does not start flowering until the 2ndor 3rd year after sprouting.
How to care for open field primroses
How to grow
Most often, you will not have any trouble caring for planted primroses. But how to properly care for them during this period? The soil must be kept slightly moist and loosened up all the time.
As a rule, you need to water once every 7 days, after which the soil is loosened and, if necessary, weeded. If the weather is dry and hot, watering should be done twice a week. Approximately 1 square meter poured 3 liters of water. If you have a perennial flower, you should feed it very often, to be exact, once a week. In this case, you should start feeding when the leaves appear, and finish - at the end of flowering.
To do this, use a solution of complex mineral fertilizer, and apply a dosage 2 times smaller than that specified on the package. But it should be taken into account that if there is too much nitrogen in the soil, then the next year the primrose will not bloom, but it will have dense foliage. To avoid this, it is necessary to alternately make potassium and phosphorus fertilizers.
How to transplant
Transplant such a plant once every 4-5 years, at the same time it is necessary to divide the bush. The fact is that the primrose grows relatively strongly.
Multiplication of primrose
Multiplying such a plant is possible by seeds, leaf cuttings and bush division. Transplanted in the 4th or 5th year of life in late summer or in the first or second week of September. To do this, a strongly overgrown bush should be well watered and dug up. From the root system should be removed all the soil, and after that wash it in a container of water. The rhizome is cut into dividers with a very sharp knife, and each of them should have at least 1 point of renewal.
After this, the cutting places should be treated with wood ash and then immediately plant the divided bush in a new permanent place. The plant should then be watered well. In this way, the primrose can be rejuvenated and high quality planting material can be obtained.
If the bush has a weakened root system or only one rosette, axillary shoots can be used for propagation. To do this, a leaflet with a bud, a petiole, and a part of the stem must be separated.
The leaf is shortened by ½ part and planted in the soil mixture. After that, the cuttings are moved to a well-lit place, shading them from direct sunlight. The optimum temperature is 16 to 18 degrees and the soil should be constantly moderately moistened. Transplanting is carried out only after the stems with 3-4 leaves grow from the buds, and the container should have a diameter of 7 to 9 centimeters. In the spring, it is transplanted into open soil.
Pests and diseases
In the open ground, such a flower can fall ill with jaundice, rust, powdery mildew, shoot and root rot, bacterial spotting, anthracnose, cucumber mosaic virus. Once you find that the leaf plates of primrose have begun to change, they must be destroyed. Aphids, weevils, slugs, nematodes, spider mites, beetles and fleas can also settle on bushes. In spring it is necessary to treat bushes with Topsin (2%) or Fondazole (2%), copper chloroxide (1%) or Bordeaux liquid (1%) as a preventive measure. In autumn time, it is necessary to treat with a solution of Nitrafen (1%).
Slugs as well as beetles will have to be removed by hand. Actellic will help with mites and Ragor will help with nematodes.
Multiple Primrose after Flowering
When flowering ends, you should loosen the ground near the bushes, removing all weeds and not disturb the plant until winter, as the leaf plates will grow back at this time. Remember to keep the rosette consisting of leaves until late autumn, as it will be a natural shelter for the root system. If the leaves are cut off in the fall, this will have a negative effect on the further growth of the plant.
So, it will become shallow, flowering will not be as lush, and the bush will lose its former spectacular appearance. Remove last year's leaves in the spring.
If the winter period is frosty enough, primrose bushes should definitely be covered with straw, dried leaves or corkscrew. The layer of covering should not be thinner than 7-10 centimeters. Some species do not need to be covered, for example, Julia primrose.
If the winter time is quite snowy and relatively warm, then it is possible not to cover primroses. In spring, when the snow starts to fall, make sure no ice-crust (you have to break it up) is formed over the shrubs as this can cause the flower to wilt.
Main varieties and species of primroses with photos
There are many species of primrose in nature and therefore they are divided into 30 sections. At the same time, quite a large number of species and varieties of such a flower are also cultivated. Below are descriptions of only the most popular species and varieties among gardeners.
Primula stemless, or common (Primula vulgaris)
Native to Central and Southern Europe. Prefers to grow on forest edges, in alpine meadows near melting snow cover. The short rhizome has rather thick cord-shaped roots. The lanceolate leaflets are about 25 centimeters long and 6 centimeters wide. They are able to partially persist through the winter period.
The height of the short flower stalks varies from 6 to 20 centimeters, they carry single flowers, colored in pale yellow or white with the yawn of violet color. The petals are wide and divided into two lobes. During the flowering period, the bush is very similar to an ornate holiday bouquet. The beginning of flowering in March. In some cases the flowering repeats in September.
It has been cultivated since the 16th century.
- Virginia - white flowers have a light yellow call;
- Higa White - white flowers;
- Cerulea - the call of the blue flowers is yellow.
Primula high (Primula elatior)
Native to the Carpathians, the southern and northern regions of Western Europe. This perennial plant has oval leaf plates with a finely serrated edge. They are about 5-20 centimeters long and 2-7 centimeters wide.
They have a sharp narrowing toward the petiole. On their front surface, the veins are depressed and convex on the reverse. Inflorescences in the form of umbrellas consist of 5-15 fragrant flowers, which are two centimeters in diameter and painted pale yellow, with spots of deep yellow color at the base of the petals. The slightly pubescent flower stalk is about 10-35 centimeters tall. Flowering begins in April and lasts 50 to 60 days.
There are hybrids that have large flowers colored in white, red, lilac, cream, and yellow. They can be either monochromatic or have an eye or fringe.
- Duplex - Cherry florets are 25 millimeters in diameter, with a dark yellow pharynx;
- Rosea - Dark pink florets have an eye of yellow;
- Helle Farben - the diameter of the pale purple flowers is 35 millimeters, the pupil is yellow;
- Goldgrand - the diameter of the brownish flowers is 25 millimeters, with a yellow pupil and a gold-colored fringe.
There is a group of hybrid plants based on the tall primrose. Their flower stalks are quite long and their flowers are large.
Very good for cutting. These include Curiosity with a brownish yellow color, as well as Golden Dream with rich yellow flowers and Olga Menden with pale red flowers.
Primula sieboldii (Primula sieboldii)
Flowers are observed in June. The florets may be colored in various shades of pink or lilac. They are part of loose umbrella-shaped inflorescences.
When the bush fades, this ephemeroid has a die-off of leaves.
Primula veris (Primula veris)
It is also called medicinal. Native to Europe. The ovate wrinkled leafplates are 20 centimeters long and 6 centimeters wide. The veins are depressed on the front side and convex on the underside pubescent.
The yellow florets have an orange spot at the base of the petals. Garden varieties can be painted in a variety of colors. Terry or pendent flower can be in 1 or 2 colors. Flowering is abundant from April to June.
Also popular are such species as: Bisa, Auricle, Snowy, Voronova, Komarova, fine-toothed, Heller, small, Julia, Ruprecht and others.
Properties of Primrose
Any of its parts contain large amounts of highly concentrated manganese salts. The parts above the soil contain many vitamins, and the rhizome contains essential oils, saponins, and glycosides. Leaves are used to prepare various dishes (soups, salads, etc.). They are useful to eat in the spring time, as the leaves contain ascorbic acid and carotene.
From dried leaves and roots make a powder. The plant has an expectorant effect in respiratory diseases. From the leaves make a decoction, and from the roots - an infusion. Primrose with rheumatism has an analgesic effect. In diseases of the kidneys and bladder, it is used as a diuretic.
Infusion made from leaves is used for angina, neuroses, colds, headaches, sleep disorders. Infusion of roots is able to resorb external hemorrhages. These remedies should not be used if individual intolerance to primrose is present, and pregnant women in the first trimester should be very careful..