Beagle's picture

Primulaceae - Primula?

Observed: 17th February 2013 By: Beagle
Friends of Childwall Woods and FieldsMerseyside BioBankThe Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and
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Colourful spring-time flower cultivated in beds in Walled garden.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


lavateraguy's picture

I agree that it's polyanthus, but ...

... the colour isn't a reliable guide.

Firstly, there are purple-flowered varieties of Primula vulgaris. (Not native to Britain, but they are cultivated, and sometimes escape.)

Secondly, there are brightly and variously coloured primrose cultivars (e.g. the old doubles that have been reintroduced after tissue culture).

Primula veris (cowslip) has clusters of golden-yellow nodding flowers at the top of a scape. Primula vulgaris (primrose) has upright primrose-yellow flowers borne singly. The hybrid between them, Primula x polyantha (polyanthus) has clusters of upright flowers. I think it more likely that the variety of colours was bred in from vulgaris than from veris (and that the orange forms of veris are introgressive.

A purple flowered Primula with creeping rhizomes, Primula julieae, is also involved. The 'Wanda' type cultivars are hybrids between this and vulgaris, and IIRC Primula x pruhonica is the triple hybrid (and difficult to distinguish from polyanthus).