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Types of Primula

By Karen Carter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Primula is known as a primrose. This perennial is grown as a winter flower since it thrives in cool weather conditions. Primula types grow 2 to 24 inches tall and 8 to 30 inches wide. Blossoms appear in the spring in yellow, white, purple, pink, red, orange, blue and brown color shades. Primula plants will burn if planted in direct sunlight in hot areas and they need regular watering to keep their soil moist. Mulching around primula plants help keep the roots cool. This shade-loving plant is used in borders, mass plantings and containers.


Auricula primrose grows 2 to 8 inches tall and 8 inches wide. This type of primula is vulnerable to damage caused by winter freezing and thawing. Types of auricula primroses to look for are Barnhaven hybrids, Dales Red, Gold of Ophir, Red Dusty Miller, Mikado and Yellow Dusty Miller.


Denticulata primulas are also called drumstick primroses. These flowers grow 8 to 10 inches tall and 12 inches wide. They require moderate moisture to thrive. Look for cultivars like Cashmeriana, Cashmeriana Rubin, Karryann, Ronsdorf, Rubins and Violet.


Japonica primula is also the Japanese primrose. They grow 12 to 14 inches tall and 24 inches wide. They produce 8 to 12 flowers on a stem. Japonica plants need damp soil. Types to try are Alba, Carmina, Miller’s Crimson, Postford White, Redfield hybrids, Rosea and Rowallane hybrids.


Juliana primula grows 4 to 6 inches and produce blossoms in various colors. Varieties to look for are City of Bellingham, Crispii, Dorothy, Friday, Groenekan’s Glorie, Jay-Jay, Kinlough Beauty, Lizzie Green, Royal Velvet and Snow White.


Vulgaris primula is also known as English primrose. They grow 6 to 9 inches tall and 9 inches wide. This primula variety tolerates dry soil. Look for Auslese Mischung, Blaue Auslese, Finesse, Quaker’s Bonnet and Rubra cultivars.


About the Author


Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.