Primula pulverulenta is a lovely species from Sichuan province in China. It is a spring flowering semi-evergreen, herbaceous perennial that can be found growing in wet marshy locations and beside rivers and streams. It prefers dappled conditions but if the soil remains moist at all times it will thrive in open positions. This long-lived candelabra primula is a most imposing spring and early summer fully hardy garden plant; usually flowering before all other candelabras.
Primula pulverulenta is a tall species, the flowering stems can grow up to 100cm (36in) tall and produce six to eight tiers, or whorls of flowers up the flower stem. The bell shaped, deep crimson-red flowers are up to 2.5cm (1in) across. The stems and flower buds have a most delightful farina dusted surface, a fine dust-like material thought to protect the plant from UV light.
The flowers are held high above the tooth-edged, mid green leaves which grow up to 18cm (45cm) long and are arranged in a rosettes.
Candelabra Primulas are excellent garden plants that grow well in any soil that does not dry out and will form large robust multi-stemmed clumps in damp or even wet soils. They will even stand flooding for short periods of time. They love good dappled shade, such as woodland glades.
Primula pulverulenta is one of the easiest of the tall primulas to keep happy and will be long-lived in most gardens.
The Royal Horticultural Society awarded Primula pulverulenta the Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Sowing: Sow seeds in late spring/early summer or late summer/autumn.
Primula seeds need a period of cold and damp to enable them to germinate. Sow on the surface of seed compost, cover with grit and keep in a shaded cold-frame or cool glasshouse.
Sow seed 2.5cm (1in) apart in trays or cells containing seed compost. Sow the seeds on the surface of the compost, (Do not cover - they need light to germinate) and place in a light position at a regular temperature of around 16°C (60°F) Germination should take place between 21 and 40 days.
Primula seeds can also be sown during warmer times of the year, but it would be necessary to artificially simulate “winter” using the following method of “stratification”:
Place the seeds between two pieces of damp filter paper or folded kitchen roll then put into a polythene bag and place this into the fridge at 4°C (39°F) which is the temperature that most fridges are set at. Inspect the seeds after two weeks and remove as the seedlings appear, returning the ungerminated seeds to the fridge.
Although most seeds should germinate in 4 to 5 weeks, germination can be erratic, it is not unknown for seeds still to be germinating up to two years after sowing. Remove the seedlings and place the pot in a shaded corner of the garden….just in case!
When seedlings have their first pair of true leaves and are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots containing peaty compost. Grow on then gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out. Plant them in a humus-rich, moisture retentive soil and in partial shade.
The important factor is that the roots should not dry out, so incorporate plenty of organic matter when you plant, mulch well in autumn and spring and water regularly if they are in the open.
Cut back after flowering. Once established, they benefit from being lifted and divided every two years in early spring.
Shade and Woodland Gardens. Underplanting of trees. Native and Natural planting schemes. Wildlife and Pollinators.
Primulas are one of the most popular species of plants which are seen in gardens. There are at least 425 species with over 300 of them found in Asia. 33 more are found in Europe and 20 found in North America.
Primula pulverulenta, commonly known as the Candelabra Primula, is native to west Sichuan, China. In its native habitat it grows in damp/ wet meadows.
There are societies dedicated to single species that are centuries old and many other societies which have their roots in the Victorian era where several species where highly desirable for collections and collectors.
The genus Primrose is ultimately derived from Old French primerose or medieval Latin prima rosa, meaning “first rose".( Latin primus - meaning ‘first’ and Rosa for Rose). Primroses flowers in early spring, one of the earliest spring flowers in much of Europe.
Pulverulenta is derived from the Latin pulvis meaning ‘dust’, in reference to the powdery covering on this pant.
Candelabra primulas take their name from the fact that the flowers on the plants in this group are arranged in whorls set at intervals up an otherwise bare stem. The general effect is like a candelabra.
Primrose and Polyanthus are a diverse group of the Primulaceae, the Primula family.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 25mg Average Seed Count 150 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 6,000 / gram Family Primulaceae Genus Primula Species pulverulenta Common Name Candelabra Primrose Other Common Names Japanese Candelabra Primrose Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Whorls of deep red flowers. Natural Flower Time April to July Foliage Mid green, oval, velvety, scalloped Height 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) Spread 30 to 38cm (12 to 15in) Position Light Shade Soil Moist, fertile, humus rich soil