Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Orchid Primrose, Poker Primrose
Primula vialii

Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Primula (PRIM-yew-luh) (Info)
Species: vialii (vy-AL-ee-eye) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

33 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral macybee On Nov 18, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

From Botanica Encyclopedia
PRIMULA - Primrose
This well-known much loved genus of perennials consists of around 400 species, found throughout the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, although most densely concentrated in China and the Himalayas. They also occur on high mountains in the tropics, extending as far south as Papua New Guinea. They are mainly rhizomatous, though some have poorly developed rhizomes and are short lived (Primula malacoides, for example). The leaves are usually crowded into a basal tuft or rosette: mostly broadest toward their tips, they generally have toothed or scalloped margins. The flowering stems vary in form, but most often carry successive whorls or a single umbel of flowers or, in a few species, the flowers are tightly crowded into a terminal head or a short spike; in a few others they emerge singly or in small groups from among the leaves on short stalks. Flower shape, size and color vary so much that it is hard to generalize, though basically all have a tubular flower that opens abruptly into a funnel or flat disc with five or more petals that are often notched at their tips.
Primulas like fertile, well-drained soil, part-shade and ample water. Propagate from seed in spring, early summer or fall, or by division or from root cuttings. Remove dead heads and old foliage after blooming. There is a primula for virtually every position and purpose.
This 24" tall perennial species from Yunnan Province in China is remarkable for carrying its purple flowers in short spikes, quite unlike any other primula. The buds are bright crimson, giving the inforescence a two-toned effect. The foliage is lush and bright green. It needs a cool, mosit climate.

Positive mmhuppi On Aug 18, 2007, mmhuppi from Beaverton, OR wrote:

beautiful plant, which has bloomed several times. I have several of the flower stalks drying on the plant as we speak. I will have the seeds for those who would like to have them. This is the first time I have ever got this plant. I ordered it through Michigan bulb company. It has also done well in my mother's yard in Hillsboro, Oregon and for myself in Aloha, Oregon. I will also post some pictures.

Neutral Baa On May 22, 2002, Baa wrote:

A short lived, perennial Primula from China.

Has oblong, mid-green, toothed, slightly hairy leaves. Bears upright spikes with a pyramidal shaped flower head where small, pendant, lavender flowers open from the bottom upwards. The calyx of the flower is a bright red.

Flowers May-July

Likes moist, rich, neutral to acid soil in parital shade although it will tolerate sun as long as the soil is constantly moist.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Juneau, Alaska
Carlotta, California
San Leandro, California
Peoria, Illinois
Grand Haven, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Denville, New Jersey
Beaverton, Oregon
Sweetwater, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Shelton, Washington
Sumner, Washington

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