Primula Vialli

Originating from China, Primula Vialli (also known as Vial’s primrose, the orchid primrose and the red hot poker primrose) is an unusual shaped flower with red tipped and lilac flowers, which typically blooms in June and July.

All photos by Toni Abram.

Garden


Primulas belong to a huge family of plants. Probably the most recognisable of these are the primroses and polyanthus seen in gardens in early spring but primulas come in many sizes, shapes and colours, as can be seen on the Gardenia website below.

Believed to have been discovered in the Yunnan mountains by Pierre John Marie Delavey (1834 – 1895), a french missionary, botanist and collector of plants, the flowers Latin name, honours another Yunnan missionary, Paul Vial (1855 – 1917).

Primula vialli flowers are short lived but mass plantings create a spectacular effect and its  nectar/pollen rich flowers will attract bees and butterflies to your garden. The rocket shaped flowers which grow to approximately 40 cm high and 1 cm wide, remind me of rocket ice lollies from when I was young,

The plant is perennial and dies back to below ground level each year (so make a note of where you plant it before it disappears), before fresh new growth appears in the spring. It grows best in partial shade but will tolerate sun.

A recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the RHS, a less dramatic variety of this plant, called Alison Holland, was was discovered by an 85 year old amateur gardener called John Holland in his Northumberland garden and was a finalist in the RHS chelsea flower show plant of the year competition in 2016.are short lived but mass plantings create a spectacular effect and its  nectar/pollen rich flowers will attract bees and butterflies to your garden. The rocket shaped flowers which grow to approximately 40cm high and 1cm wide, remind me of rocket lollies from when I was young,

The plant is perennial and dies back to below ground level each year (so make a note of where you plant it before it disappears), before fresh new growth appears in the spring, it grows best in partial shade but will tolerate sun.

A recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the RHS, a less dramatic variety of this plant, called Alison Holland, was was discovered by an 85 year old amateur gardener called John Holland in his garden in Northern England.

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