Primula sieboldii

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Robert Pavlis

Primula sieboldii, is a fun little primula with lots of variation in its flowers in both color and petal shape. It blooms after many other primulas and its flowers last for more than 4 weeks. It is a great addition to any shade garden.

Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis

The Japanese call it Sakurasou, the cherry blossom herb and they have been breeding and cultivating it since the sixteenth century. Other common names include Japanese primrose, Siebold’s primrose, cherry blossom primrose and Asiatic primrose.

I must have a dozen different flower clones and all of them are from seed mixtures, such as the one available from the Ontario Rock Garden & Hardy Plant Society Seedex. This primula cross breeds easily and it’s quite common to get variety of flower forms from a single seed pack.

Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis

Some sources suggest planting seeds as soon as they are ripe, even in the green state. I have had no problem germinating dry seed in late winter.

Food Science for Gardeners, by Robert Pavlis

They make excellent cut flowers and last more than a week in water. They spread into large colonies by shallow underground rhizomes, but they are easily controlled. If they get too dry they will become dormant and go underground in late summer.

Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis
Primula sieboldii: photo by Robert Pavlis

Primula sieboldii

(PRIM-yew-la  see-BOLD-ee-eye)

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 20cm (8in)

Bloom Time: late spring

Natural Range: East Asia

Habitat: damp meadows and light forests

Synonyms:  Auganthus sieboldii, Primula cortudoides

Cultivation of Primula sieboldii:

Light: part shade

Soil: well drained and moisture retentive

Water: average to wet, but does not like standing water

USDA Hardiness Zone: (3?) 4-8

Propagation: seed, division

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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

2 thoughts on “Primula sieboldii”

  1. Hi Robert
    You are the man ! Thanks for your work.
    Would you mind a suggestion? In addition to the actual plant name which you are currently using, adding the common name too, or something to that effect, since laypeople like me will seldom use or remember the scientific name.
    Cheers!
    Michael

    Reply

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