Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I Wanda In The Garden

The afternoon sunshine today was just enough to stir the early Wanda hybrid primroses to life, with a few brightly colored blooms showing here and there, topping the newly emerging leaves... later, the larger plants will be covered with flowers so that the foliage can barely be seen. The Wanda hybrids were some of the earliest crosses to be made with Primula juliae, a small, brightly colored species discovered by plant explorers in 1900, growing in the Caucasus in mountain forests, crossed, in the case of the Wandas, mainly with Primula vulgaris, the common primrose of English meadows. The purple of P. juliae tends to dominate the yellow of vulgaris, so these hybrids tend towards purple-red flowers; they apparently are mostly vulgaris, so vary in hardiness (juliae gives more hardiness to the hybrids), and are slightly "looser" plants than crosses that contain more juliae, and as both vulgaris and juliae have single flowers on short stalks (acaulis) so do these hybrids, for the most part. The foliage of Wandas is somewhat dark green, almost bronze, with hints of red edging, seen best as below, when the foliage is first emerging. There sometimes is a little confusion in that the name Wanda should denote a specific, hardy hybrid of this group, which is claret-purple, and on the smaller side, whereas Wanda group or Wanda hybrids come in many bright colors; all I have seen have contrasting yellow eyes. Posted by Picasa

hmmm. Did you just call me loose and vulgar? LOL I wasn't even aware that "wanda hybrids" were available. I thought I was one of a kind.
Glad I didn't add that they spread quickly.
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