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Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
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Moderate

Primula malacoides

Fairy Primrose, Baby Primrose
Primulaceae
Annuals, Perennials

PRIMULA

Most primroses are native to the Himalayas and cool regions of southeast Asia and Europe. The plants form a foliage rosette; at bloom time, typically circular, sometimes fragrant flowers with five petals rise above the leaves. The petals usually overlap and are often indented at the apex, sometimes so deeply that each flower appears to have ten parts. Blossoms may be borne on individual stems, in clusters at stem ends, or in tiered, candelabra-like clusters along the stem.

Most primroses are spring blooming, but some start flowering in mid- to late winter in mild climates, and a few bloom in early summer. Some go dormant in late fall or winter; mark their location before they disappear.

Nearly all are good plants for the woodland garden.

Primula malacoides

Grows to 8–15 in. high and 1 ft. wide. Evergreen. Soft, pale green, oval, 1 1/2–3-in.-long leaves, with lobed and cut edges; carried on long stalks. Tiered blossoms in loose, lacy whorls along many upright stems. Shades of white, pink, rose, red, and lavender in midwinter to late spring. Perennial in mildest winters but treated as an annual, potted plant, or houseplant everywhere.

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