Primula Species, Hardy Primrose, Japanese Primrose

Primula kisoana

Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Primula (PRIM-yew-luh) (Info)
Species: kisoana (kee-so-AY-nuh) (Info)
Synonym:Auganthus kisoanus
Synonym:Primula kisoana var. shikokiana
Synonym:Primula shikokiana
View this plant in a garden


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Magenta (pink-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Juneau, Alaska

Waukegan, Illinois

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake Grove, New York

Chesterland, Ohio


Sherwood, Oregon

Barto, Pennsylvania

Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Kalama, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 8, 2009, chris_h from Waukegan, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have found primula kisoana easy to grow in my garden. I have had it for many years. It has spread to form a good size patch in medium shade but it is not aggressive. Some years a few bare spots may appear but they always seem to fill back in in the following year. My soil tends to clay but I have supplemented it over the years with peat moss and maple leaves. In addition to the pretty flowers, the foliage is very appealing and it has furry pink and green stems that are very attractive. It does seem to appreciate even moisture but tolerates a dry spell now and then. I have tried it in drier areas of my garden but it did not flourish there.


On May 27, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is the only primrose species to have survived more than two years for me - in fact, about 5 years for me. I think it grows in drier conditions that some people above think - more of average soils but maybe in average soil it is smaller. I got it from a plant sale by the local garden club - previous I had it in more sunny location and drier location but competitions from other plants were intense so I had the three to four plants (tiny) moved to the new home - only one had come up so far. Blooms in May. At least now I know it's name!


On Jan 24, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

The following notes on germinating P. kisoana are quoted and paraphrased heavily from the 2nd edition of Norman C. Deno's book, Seed Germination Theory and Practice. He found that this species germinated in only two procedures:

1) It germinated at 70*F in the dark with GA-3 (gibberellic acid) using fresh seed (germination was 70% successful in the second week), OR

2) at 70*F in the light with dry-stored seed.
Germination was highest with seed previously stored in dry-storage for 2 years at 70*F and then germinated at 70*F in the light with 80% successful germination in the 1st through 3rd weeks. However, when he tried to germinate seeds identically to the foregoing except for dry-storage being 6 months, instead of 2 years, germination was lowes... read more


On Jan 15, 2005, Tammy from somewhere, PA wrote:

I 've been successful with this verry pretty primrose for several years here in NE Pa. I've got in near my spring-fed pond - cool & moist soil. It spreads by slowly by stolons.


On Dec 5, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is another Cortusoides group primula that might be grown for its foliage alone. The large, lime-green, felt-like leaves look like some species of Geranium. From the rosette of leaves arise a 4-8" stem topped by a cluster of up to 6, relatively large rose-pink flowers. A good woodlander as long as the soil stays reasonaly moist. It is native to damp, shaded sub-alpine to alpine sites in Japan.