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spring flowers from Downside

Primula – Primrose or Polyanthus?

Judging by the questions we get asked at the till there is a lot of confusion about these.   They are ALL Primulas!

Primula is a large genus ranging from the small rockery types like P. capitata through the drumstick primroses (P.denticulata) to the large and vigorous candelabra P.beesiana and P. bulleyana.

Our native primrose is P. vulgaris and cowslips are P. veris (we stock both) for naturalising.

The coloured primroses (one flower per stem) we are selling in pots now are all hybrids of P. vulgaris. We have a wide selection including the very pretty semi-double Primlets.  They are all hardy and most will bed out successfully when you have finished with them in containers.  Particularly good for this are the Wandas with their bright jewel colours and bronze-tinged leaves.  Husky primroses as their name implies are also exceptionally tough.  These are spring flowering and come in packs of six.

True double primroses come from division rather than seed. We have the six colours of the Belaria series in stock. These are good for a permanent planting in a rockery or the front of a border.

Polyanthus have a cluster of flowers on a single stem.  These are P. elatior, a coloured version of the oxslip which is itself a naturally occurring hybrid between a primrose and a cowslip. We sell these in packs of six – plain colours or mixed. They are hardy perennials.

Lots to enjoy.

Don’t forget our plant lists are also on this website under Plants!  But as always, if there is something specific you are wanting, to email or call ahead so we can advise if it is currently in stock.


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