Perry's Perennial Pages

Primula 'Katy McSparron'

    Perennial of the Month-- March 2004 

(Prim' uu-lah) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name: Katy McSparron Cowslip Primrose

Family: Primulaceae, Primrose

Height x width: 10-12" x 16"

Growth rate; habit: moderate, low mound

Foliage: 3" to 6" long, elliptic (elongated oval) to obovate, medium green, crenate margins

Flowers: fragrant, double, golden, held in tufts about foliage, long bloom (May-June in USDA zone 4)

Hardiness: USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8, AHS heat zones 7 to 3

Soil: moist loam, more moisture in warmer climates; will wilt in, but tolerate, some drought

Light: part shade especially from afternoon sun in warm climates

Pests and problems: none significant, may rot if too wet, too light colored leaves may indicate too little fertility

Landscape habit, uses: shade gardens, fronts of beds and borders; combines well with carpet bugle (Ajuga), foamflower (Tiarella), Lungwort (Pulmonaria), heartleaf saxifrage (Bergenia), hellebores, spring bulbs, and in front of taller ferns and Siberian iris

Other interest: a hybrid from about 12 years of cross breeding and hand pollination from Geoff Nicole of Wales, UK, being named after his granddaughter; first new double-flowered form in about 300 years; common name from the fact the species (veris) is often found in the UK on uncultivated meadows used for cattle grazing

Other culture: may need to divide at home every 2-3 years if excellent growing conditions, otherwise seldom needed

Propagation: patented so commerical propagation by licensed propagators

Sources: a Blooms of Bressingham introduction, available from their retailers and commercially from their propagators

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