Orchid Primrose, Poker Primrose

Primula vialii

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Anchorage, Alaska

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 7, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

According to an article on the American Primrose Society's website, this species thrives in boggy/saturated soil. Its reputation for being short-lived may be due to attempts to grow it under well-drained garden conditions that most other Primula species prefer. http://www.americanprimrosesociety.org/info-on-species/viali...

In winter, plants retreat to tiny resting buds, and may seem to have disappeared or died. They don't emerge from dormancy until spring is well advanced, and it's easy to dig them out by mistake. It helps to mark their locations when they are in active growth. Don't give up on potted plants till very late spring.

Seeds live many years wh... read more


On Aug 6, 2016, LongTimeAlaskan from Anchorage, AK wrote:

Comments based on personal experience: I live in Anchorage, Alaska (USDA Zone 4b) and I've had this plant growing in my yard for three years/2 winters now. That said, we have had very mild winters the past 2 years. The winter of 2015-2016 we had the lowest amount of snowfall ever recorded.

The plant has reproduced vegetatively, increasing from a single plant to five plants now. Last year the plant produced viable seeds. The seeds ripened in early October, just before our first heavy frost. I grew hundreds of seedlings from the seeds I collected. Since the plant is rated for Zone 5 and higher, I would guess it's growth and longevity in Zone 4b might be marginal.


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 t... read more


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.


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.