'Candelabra Primroses'

Candelabra Primula (Sub-genus Aleuritia, section Proliferae)

The information in this section is taken largely from Halda (The Genus Primula in Cultivation and the Wild), Richards (Primula) and Swindells (A Plantsman's Guide to Primulas).  See Some Recommended Books.  Click here to see candelabra primroses in the Barnhaven website.

 

  • 37.p japonica.jpg - 223.08 KB    39.primula pulverulenta.jpg - 222.23 KB
  •    Primula japonica          Primula pulverulenta

    General distribution - east Nepal through Sikkim, Bhutan, south-east Tibet, Assam, northern Burma to north-east Yunnan and east Sichuan, also in Java, Sumatra, Japan, and Taiwan.

     

     

    Name

     

    Origin

     

    Native growing conditions

     

    Brief Description

     

    Blooming time

     

    P. aurantiaca

     

    West Yunnan

     

    beside streams, alpine pastures

     

    deep red-orange flowers - stems to 30 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. beesiana

    (Richards says beesiana is a sub-species of bulleyana)

     

    NW Yunnan, SW Sichuan

     

    moist mountain meadows, damp open forest

     

    flowers rose-carmine with yellow eye and orange tube - stems to 60 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. bulleyana

     

     

    NW Yunnan

     

    moist mountain meadows

     

    flowers start crimson, become orange- yellow when mature - stems to 70 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. x bullesiana

     

    garden hybrid

     

     

     

    multi-coloured flowers, yellow to crimson

     

    June to August

     

    P. burmanica

    (Halda says burmanica is a form of beesiana)

     

    Burma-Yunnan frontier

     

    marshy meadows, wet clearings in conifer forests

     

    purple to crimson flowers with a greeny-orange eye and purple tube - stems to 60 cm

     

    May to June

     



     

     

     

    Name

     

    Origin

     

    Native growing conditions

     

    Brief Description

     

    Blooming time

     

    P. chungensis

     

    Bhutan, Assam, W Sichuan, W Yunnan

     

    marshes, wet ground beside streams in conifer forests

     

    yellow to orange - stems to 80 cm

     

    May to August

     

    P. cockburniana

     

    SW Sichuan

     

    marshy, alpine meadows

     

    dark orange tinged with red - stems to 40 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. cooperi (?)

    (only collected once)

     

    Sikkim (India)

     

    sandy stream sides and wet grassy slopes

     

    uniformly yellow flowers, aromatic leaves - stems to 30 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. helodoxa

    (Richards says it is a form of prolifera)

     

    NE Burma, NW Yunnan

     

    stream sides, damp alpine meadows

     

    bright golden-yellow, some farina on the scape, evergreen - stems to 100 to 120 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. japonica

     

    all the main islands of Japan

     

    wet sites along mountain streams

     

    purplish-red flowers - stems to 45 cm

    'Postford White' - white with orange eye

    'Miller' s Crimson' - dark red with dark red eye

    'Valley Red' - scarlet with an orange eye

     

    May to August

    (in cultivation probably the first to flower)

     

    P. mallophylla

    (never in cultivation)

     

    East and South Sichuan

     

    damp meadows and mountain stream sides

     

    deep yellow flowers - stems to 30 cm

     

    May to August

     

    P. melanodonta

     

    NE Burma, SE Tibet and northern India

     

    muddy alpine slopes and stream sides

     

    bright yellow flowers - stems to 25 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. miyabeana

     

    Taiwan (Mt. Morrison)

     

    shady mountain woods

     

    purple flowers, farina in calyx is yellow - stems to 60 cm

     

    May to August

     

    P. morsheadiana

    (Richards has moved this to Sikkimensis)

     

    SE Tibet

     

    grassy, stony, damp slopes

     

    golden-yellow flowers - stems to 24 cm

    (according to Halda - no record of it in cultivation)

     

    June to August

     

    P. poissonii

     

    SW Sichuan, West Yunnan

     

    boggy, meadows

     

    deep, purple-crimson flowers with a yellow eye, evergreen - stems to 45 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. polonensis

     

    Assam

     

    stream banks and wet rocks

     

    bright yellow flowers - stems to 35 cm

     

    June to August

     



     

     

     

    Name

     

    Origin

     

    Native growing conditions

     

    Brief Description

     

    Blooming time

     

    P. prenantha

    (rare in cultivation)

     

    Bhutan, NE Burma, SE Tibet, Assam, Sikkim, East Nepal near Mt. Everest

     

    boggy slopes, wet meadows, moist gravel on cliffs

     

    brilliant chrome-yellow, cup-shaped flowers, probably the smallest primula in this section, evergreen - stem sto 15 cm

     

    May

     

    P. prolifera

     

    Bhutan, North Burma, South Yunnan, Assam, Sumatra, Java

     

    stream sides and marshy places

     

    pale to golden-yellow flowers, but also muddy violet, evergreen - stems to 60 cm

     

    May to August

     

    P. pulverulenta

     

    West Sichuan

     

    marshy slopes, stream banks

     

    carmen-red with dark purple eye, white farina on stems - stems to 100 cm

     

    May to August

     

    P. secundiflora

    (only known hybrids with poissonii)

     

    NW Yunnan, SW Sichuan,

    SE Tibet

     

    near glaciers on alpine meadows, swampy places on limestone and clay slate, near clumps of rhododendrons

     

    reddish purple or deep red flowers, evergreen, two whorls of pendant flowers, great variability in size depending on origin of parent - low-lying plants much bigger - stems 10 to 90 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. serratifolia

     

    NE Burma, SE Tibet, Yunnan

     

    high damp mountain meadows

    (difficult to establish in cultivation)

     

    large, yellow bell-shaped semi-pendant flowers, each petal lobe has a central bar of deep orange, evergreen - stems to 45 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. smithiana

    (Richards says it is a form of prolifera)

     

    Bhutan, SE Tibet

     

    wet meadows, stream banks

     

    pale yellow flowers - stems to 60cm

     

    June to July

     

    P. stenodonta (Could be a variety of poissonii or wilsonii)

     

     

    NE Yunnan

     

    marshy meadows

     

    reddish-violet flowers - stems to 30 cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. wilsonii

     

     

    Sichuan and Yunnan

     

    damp mountain meadows

     

    red to purple flowers, aromatic leaves - stems to 90 + cm

     

    June to August

     

    P. wilsonii var. anisodora

     

    Sichuan and Yunnan

     

    moist open pastures

     

    deep purple almost black flowers, aromatic leaves - stems to 60cm (Halda)

     

    June to August

     

    •     Primula japonica        Primula pulverulenta
      •      Primula japonica            Primula pulverulenta
      •  
        • The majority of this section is concentrated in the border region of Yunnan-Burma-Assam-Tibet, a zone of high monsoon rainfall and deep snow.
        • Thirteen of 23 species grow in the region of the Salween, Mekong and Yangtse rivers.
        • P. prolifera (the ones growing in Indonesia) and P. magellanica (Argentina) are probably the only Primula species which are native to the southern hemisphere.
        • Pax called this section 'Proliferae' in 1889, but Balfour later named it 'Candelabra' because he thought Pax was disorganized, but we now refer to it as 'Proliferae', because out of 14 species Pax got 10 right; however, most of the species of Proliferae are still sold as 'candelabra primroses'.
        • It is thought that the species in section Proliferae represent the most primitive primulas. Most primulas can be shown to derive from Proliferae
        • Many of these primulas are among the easiest to grow, soundly perennial, and fully hardy. They must never be allowed to dry out. Heat, drought, or dry, deep shade will kill them. They need acidic soil to thrive. They grow well with rhododendrons and other acid-loving shrubs or in bog and water gardens.
        • Most will self-sow easily. Most are herbaceous and form almost inconspicuous buds at the soil level in winter.
        • They benefit from a nutritious top dressing of mulch in winter.
        • Seeds have only a short period of viability.

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