|Primula marginata 'Herb Dickson'
This species of primrose, marginata, has leaves that are gently toothed along the edges. It likes the same growing conditions as the auriculas. This is richly colored in medium violet. This variety, 'Herb Dickson,' is named for the renowned primula enthusiast from Chehalis, Washington, sadly, no longer with us. Cold hardy to −35 to −40°F, with protection such as snow cover.
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- common name: marginata primrose
- flowering season: April into May
- height: 4 to 6 inches
- Light requirements: full sun, 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, that do not wilt easily
- 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% sand or perlite
- Other points of interests, such as historically 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