Primula Sieboldii
Gardens Illustrated|April 2017

These pretty spring flowers in a range of pinks, whites and blues can add a fresh burst of colour to a shady area right through to early summer – and look equally stylish when grown in pots.

Noël Kingsbury

A bed planted up with Primula sieboldii – or perhaps even better, a collection of the plants in pots – is a remarkable sight. They appear in a range of colours, from white (and here we really do mean white, not cream or ivory) through to rich pinks and blue lilacs. The petal shapes are equally varied, from regular petals through to extravagantly divided ones. With many cultivars in flower at the same time, the effect can be magical; a hundred iterations of the same basic theme, dancing on the slightest breeze on the end of thin, tall stems.

Looking at individual plants, it is apparent that there is a huge level of variation, and this is very much part of their charm. However, it’s the ones with divided petals – which look almost like snowflakes – that are most likely to catch your eye. Plant species that have flowers with divided petals are few and far between, so there is a real sense of the unusual here on top of their sheer beauty.

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