Showy Auricula section primulas are evergreen perennials with leathery, often farinose foliage and simple umbels of salver-shaped flowers coming in all shapes and sizes. With thanks to Lesley Roberts of Pop's Plants
A most unusual selection with ruffled greenish-purple blooms, Auricula ‘Sword’ is a Green Edge Double Auricula, bred by grower Derek Salt in 1990. It's not to everybody's taste, but it will certainly raise eyebrows with its curious blooms. It is probably best grown under cover.
With its unusual rust-orange flowers, Double Auricula ‘Cinnamon’ was bred by grower Keith Leeming in 1989. The flowers of this selection are said to sometimes vary in colour and degree of doubling. It is an easy selection that may be tried planted outside in a well-drained position, or grown in pots if preferred.
Primula 'Blush Baby'
A charming Stripe this Show Auricula has red and grey flowers. Named ‘Blush Baby’, it is another fine selection bred by Derek Parsons in 1999. It is said to be a relatively easy plant to grow and care for, and quick growing as with others of its kind, needing cover to flower at its best.
Primula 'Henry's Bane'
With its dramatic flowers Show Auricula ‘Henry’s Bane’ is a ‘Stripe’, bred by Derek Parsons. Although they are usually kept under cover while flowering, Stripes are perhaps the easiest of the Show Auriculas to grow as many are vigorous and prolific.
Primula 'Sharon Louise'
Another Show Auricula, beautiful ‘Sharon Louise’ is a ‘Self’, bred by grower Ken Bowser in 1991. It is said to be a particularly fine, late flowering selection that can be slow to bulk up. Selfs have a white paste centre to their flowers, and plain body (petal) colour.
With its delectable blooms, ‘Prosperine’ is appealing indeed. This beautiful selection is a Show Auricula, a ‘Green Edge’, first shown in 2001 and bred by grower Ken Whorton. ‘Edges’ have flowers where a mutation has replaced the outermost petal tissue with leaf tissue to create a curious effect.
Primula 'Dilly Dilly'
The striking flowers of ‘Dilly Dilly’ look almost as if painted by hand. This selection is an Alpine Auricula, bred by grower Keith Leeming in 1993. Alpine Auriculas are quite easy to grow, as they have no farina (white dusting) on their foliage, which would otherwise be spoiled by rain.
Appealing ‘Piglet’ with its frilly pink blooms is a Double Auricula, bred by grower Derek Salt around 2001. Try growing this selection in pots, kept under cold glass in winter, or even planted outside in a well drained, sheltered spot that does not get too hot or dry.
Primula 'Forest Sunlight'
With greenish-yellow blooms, ‘Forest Sunlight’ is a Double Auricula, and one of a series in a wide range of colours, developed by grower Richard Austin. Double auriculas were popular in the 1600s but fell from fashion, to be revived in the last 50 or so years.