Monday, February 20, 2006

Primula cockburniana

The next miniature primrose that grows in our garden might well push itself to the head of the list, rather than being buried in the middle, just by merit of its rich orange color, so unusual in small primroses, with the usual palette of purple-mauve-pink-white. This primrose is native to mountain meadows in western China, but is happy here amongst the cornfields in a peaty, well-drained spot in a shady ravine, where shafts of sunlight occasionally light up its burnt orange flowers. It stays in bloom an unusually long time for a late spring-blooming primrose (the pictures here were taken in mid-May). It is said to sometimes be short-lived, but will re-seed... I've only had it a few years, and it seems to be clumping up, but I plan on collecting some seeds this year.

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