Current Issue

 Vol 78, Issue No. 3 (Summer 2020)

Members click here for the full issue


The View from Here by Patricia Hartman
American Primrose Society Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic
Spring Primula 2020
A Light in the Forest by Janice Anthony
Juneau Primroses by Paul Dick
Juneau Primula by Bonnie Gruening
Spring at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum by Merril Jensen
Primula elatior by Rhondda Porter
The Petiolares Primula by Terry Mitchell
Dorothy Springer
Herb Dickson by April Boettger
Annual Report of the Board
Minutes May 17, 2020
New Members
Officers of the Chapters

The View from Here
APS Board Member & Chair for APS as ICRA for Primula

My love for Primulas emerged during 2015 while serving as the Southeast Alaska Master Gardener President. A fellow APS member and Master Gardener inquired about what kind of Primulas I grew during the annual plant sale. My reply was “I’ve just acquired a few Primula ‘Dorothy’ that were given to us for the plant sale and will be planting them for future use and I have a P. x forsteri ‘Bileckii’ that I planted on my garden railway. I’m a leaf counter instead of a rivet counter.” I was promptly taken over to the Friends of the Jensen-Olson Arboretum and introduced to P. juliae. The world of the Primula was opened up to me as I started learning from the local experts about what grows in Juneau and how many unusual Primula there are in the world.

As I listened to the experts and acquired books, plants and seeds, the thrilling madness bloomed into having gardens filled with Primula. Primula are always on the sought-after list to see while visiting any Arboretum in the world. A trip to Palmengarten last year motivated a place on the garden railroad for P. marginata, now residing in a rock crevice above the train tunnel.

Although no expert, I am learning and seem to have expanded my collection over the last several years. Several great mentors, such as Merrill Jensen, Paul Dick and Ed Buyarski, helped make the learning curve less steep. I also hold them all responsible for my madness for Primula along with my association with the APS and current position on the board.

At the last meeting, the board agreed to pursue the APS becoming the International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA) for Primula. This decision comes after several decades of groundwork and correspondence by APS members and past APS Board Members, most recently Merrill Jensen and Michael Plumb. Merrill who is currently the Arboretum Manager & Horticulturist for the Jensen-Olson Arboretum, holder of the Nationally Accredited Primula Collection™, has agreed to stay on the ICRA for Primula committee through 2021. APS Board member and Past President Ed Buyarski, who lives in Juneau, AK, has also agreed to serve on the committee, along with new APS board member Lucy Coles from Hopkinton, Massachusetts. I have agreed to chair the committee. We are anticipating that it may take us around nine months or more to get this up and running if we are accepted as the ICRA for Primula.

Some of you might be wondering what an ICRA is and what does it do? If our application is accepted, the APS would serve as the International Cultivar Registration Authority for Primula (ICRA for Primula) on an appointment from the International Society for Horticultural Science or ISHS. The ISHS executive committee receives annual reports from the ICRAs and reassesses the appointments every four years. The ICRA program has been in place for over 50 years and currently has over 70 ICRAs listed on their website, ranging from African Violet Society of America (A.V.S.A.) to the Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute (CAAS). The organization operates under the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). The purpose of APS as ICRA for Primula would be to supervise and avoid the duplicate naming of epithets and group epithets along with publishing new registrations. An annual hard copy will also need to be published each year along with the goal of having a database on the APS website that would be searchable by different criteria. According to the ISHS, “The ICRA system is in effect the horticultural world’s attempt at self-policing of nomenclature and is truly international in its scope.”

Over the next few months, some of the areas the committee will be looking into are building a database, filing the application for APS as ICRA, working on guidelines and responsibilities for committee members following all guidelines outlined for ICRAs and generating an application form for future registration of a Primula cultivar name.

We will be looking for a Registrar and advisory committee to assist in this endeavor. Registrars will need to have a good working knowledge of, or ability to learn, the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP) and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN). More information can be found at If anyone is interested in serving on this committee, is an expert in Primula cultivars or knows those who are, please feel free to contact me at