Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Primula Bulleyana

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Primula bulleyana (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Primula bulleyana (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Primulaceae

Primula bulleyana is a semi-evergreen, herbaceous perennial with a rosette forming habit. Its mid green leaves are elliptic with irregularly dentate margins, tapering at the base, up to 22cm long, 8cm broad and arranged in a rosettes. Its stems and flower buds are covered in white/ gray powder. Its golden yellow flowers are bell shaped, up to 2.5cm across, appear in whorls around an erect stem, each plant producing up to six whorls.

Primula bulleyana Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Primula bulleyana Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Primula bulleyana, commonly known as a Candelabra Primula or Bulley’s Primrose, is native to the east end of the Himalayas and south China. In its native habitat it grows in marshy alpine meadows and stream banks.

The etymological root of the binomial name Primula is from the Latin name for the Primrose. Bulleyana is named after Arthur Kilpin Bulley (1861–1942), an English cotton broker and sponsor George Forrest (1873-1932) a plant hunter and discoverer of this plant.

The landscape architect may find Primula bulleyana useful as a marginal plant at the edge of ponds, lakes and rivers and look particularly good when planted en mas.

Ecologically, Primula bulleyana is attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Primula bulleyana their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Primula bulleyana Leaf (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Primula bulleyana Leaf (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Primula bulleyana prefers moist, humus rich, well drained soils. It prefers an acid to neutral pH of soil, although it will tolerate most pH of soil. It will tolerate wet soils.

Primula bulleyana requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in autumn.

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