Primula is a genus of low-growing flowering plants in the family Primulaceae, comprising about 400-500 species. This genus includes primrose, auricula, cowslip and oxlip. It is native to temperate regions of Northern Hemisphere, south into tropical mountains in Ethiopia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and also in temperate southern South America.
Many species of primula are grown as ornamental plants in gardens, good for containers and rock gardens. Perennial primulas preferred filtered sunlight and are adapted to alpine climates. The flowers of purple, yellow, red, pink, or white are borne in spring.
Primula alpicola (Moonlight Primrose), 15-50cm tall, is native to southeastern Tibet. It bears bell-shaped flowers of white, cream, yellow or shades of purple.
Primula veris (Cowslip) is native throughout most of temperate Europe and Asia. It is a low-growing herbaceous perennial plant, bearing deep yellow flowers in spring. The flowers are in a cluster of 10-30 together on a single stem of 5-20 cm tall, each flower is about 9-15 mm broad. Red flowers do occur, but very rarely. It is found on open ground, such as open fields, meadows, coastal dunes and clifftops. It is a favorite food of wild rabbit.
Primula farinosa (Bird's-eye Primrose),3-20 cm tall, is a small perennial plant native to northern Europe and northern Asia. It grows well on grazed meadows rich in lime and moisture. It bears rounded clusters of violet-blue flowers on top of a powdery stem.
Primula rosea (Himalayan Meadow Primrose), 20 cm high and across, bears clusters of yellow-eyed, deep pink flowers in late spring.
Primrose vulgaris (Primrose, Common Primrose, English Primrose) is native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia. It is a low growing, herbaceous perennial plant with a basal rosette of leaves. It bears early spring flowers of pale yellow, white, red, or purple. It can be grown to cover the ground in open wood and shaded hedgerows.
Different species of Primulas require different growing conditions. Propagation is by seed in spring; divide in early spring. Pests and disease are slugs and snails, and grey mould.