Monday, April 26, 2010

Primula denticulata is another fine perennial for southeastern Alaska. I used to have a bit of a snotty attitude about it as it is a pretty common garden plant. I've reformed. Why dismiss an easy to grow, well mannered, lovely flowered plant just because it is well used? I like many things that are abundantly available...toast, coffee, showers ? I'm trying to fight my tendency to only value the unusual or rare and give the common their due.
Back to Primula denticulata or Drumstick primrose, it is a native to open wet meadows in the Himalayas. Apparently this species has been in cultivation since the early 1800's. ( Juneau Primrose Society ).
It can be propagated by seed or by dividing the clumps. This species forms flower buds in the summer/fall that overwinter, so I'd recommend dividing it after blooming.
I've seen white, lavender or a deeper red violet growing in Sitka, but there seem to be other colors available in commerce.
I don't give this plant any special care; just trim off the flower stalks after blooming, feed some compost and periodically divide and this one should do quite well


  1. I've even tried and killed this one. I believe the culprit was my foot, the poor thing was trodden on at least a dozen times while I was doing some yard work and that did it in. I need to give it another try. Strangely enough, I haven't yet been bitten by the primula bug.

    Christine in Anchorage

  2. Hi Christine, I had a major crush on Primula a few years ago and purchased several from the Primrose society in Juneau. The plants ability to thrive in southeastern without alot of intervention helps maintain my devotion.