|Primula auricula 'Sirius'
'Sirius' is very different with the maroon at the base of each petal and the edges shaded in cream, with a golden center. Ages to lighter shades. Cold hardy to −35 to −40°F, with protection such as snow cover.
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- common names: primrose, auricula primrose or auricula (in anatomy, auricula is another name for the external portion of the ear alluding to the fleshy, leathery quality of this primrose's leaves)
- flowering season: April into May
- height: 4 to 6 inches
- Light requirements: full sun or filtered light, afternoon shade where summers are hot
- Soil requirements: average soil when planted in the ground; quickly draining soil when grown in a pot
- Water requirments: average
- Growth habit: grows as a clump of shoots; older shoots can become leggy and will benefit from being replanted deeper every few years
- How to propagate: dividing in either spring or early fall
- Leaf type: evergreen leaves that are somewhat rubbery and succulent
- Ways to use it: grows well in the garden or will live happily in a 6 or 8-inch pot for several years before needing to be divided and repotted; plants that are grown in pots can easily be wintered over in the garden by removing them from their pots in September or October and planted in a protected spot on the east side of a house, to be returned to their pots in February or March, in time for their mid-spring flowering
- Special characteristics: both the flowers and the foliage have a slightly spicy fragrant scent; because it is native to higher mountainous elevations, it much prefers cool summers rather than hot humid ones -- although it is possbile to grow it in warmer climates, it is suggested not to keep the roots constantly damp and giving it afternoon shade; we recommend allowing a plant to dry out considerably between deep watering, and also misting the leaves; one secret to keeping it happy is either growing it in a terra cotta pot or giving it a potting soil that is 50% pumice or perlite
- Other points of interests: some historians believe the ancestors of this plant were collected from their native range in the Alps mountains of Europe and were the first plants grown in pots by Europeans; they were highly prized by Victorian gardeners during the nineteenth century when many unusually colored varieties were available