Primula chionantha, is a western Chinese Primula species that always gives delight. It is an elegant but robust plant that has been described as the best white garden Primula. The sub-species chionantha, is the white form of this primula (Primula chionantha subsp. sinopurpurea being the purple form).
This is a very hardy perennial garden primula that reliably flowers each year. It is an early species that makes a great addition to the early spring garden. The leaves unfold in March to April followed by 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) flowers stems.
The flowers open in succession as the stem elongates upwards. 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.
Each plant may have several flower stems that each produce whorls of elegant flowers. They are held in loose clusters of pendulous pure white blooms.
Primula chionantha is a clump forming species which can be easily be divided to provide more plants for your garden. Tolerant of soils which never dry out, even beside the pond margin, this is a most accommodating garden plant. An elegant and lovely plant in a shaded rock garden or peat bed.
- Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit
Primula chionantha has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
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.
Allow this Primula to seed down and you will get a colourful array of seedlings to carpet the moist area.
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.
Botanists have subdivided this large genus into thirty-seven sections. The vast majority can be found in the high, damp meadows of the Himalayas and western China, where 334 species are native. They are also familiar spring wildflowers of the European country-side, where they have been appreciated for centuries.
Primula chionantha sub-species chionantha, is the white form of this primula, (with Primula chionantha subsp. sinopurpurea being the purple form). This western Chinese Primula is native to the north-western Yunnan, it grows in a relatively dry mountain area on limestone, previously barely explored botanically.
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.
Both the species and sub species name chionantha refer to the snowy white blooms. It derives from the Greek words chion meaning snow and anthos meaning flower.
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 candelabrum.
Primula beesiana is commonly known as the Bees primrose.
Primrose and Polyanthus are a diverse group of the Primulaceae, the Primula family. 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.
- Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Additional Information
Packet Size 25mg Average Seed Count 110 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 4,500 per gram Family Primulaceae Genus Primula Species chionantha sub-species chionantha Common Name White Form Other Common Names Japanese Hardy Primrose Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Whorls of white flowers. Natural Flower Time MArch to april Foliage Mid green, oval, velvety, scalloped Height 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) Spread 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in)