Primula denticulata

drumstick primrose

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This primrose is quite like a lollipop when it blooms. The tiny flowers are tightly arranged on an orb about 2 inches in diameter and 6 inches above the foliage. Generally, the blooms are lilac to lavender in color, but white, purple, carmine, and pink are also sometimes available. This easy and robust primrose will bring a burst of color to the spring garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 2 to 9

Flower Color: lavender, purple, rose, white

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

Water Requirements: frequent to regular watering

Seasonal Interest: brightly colored flowers in spring

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, cream, orange, red

Great Color Partners: blue, bronze, silver, violet, white

Culture Notes
Plant these primroses in light to open shade. For the best growth a soil that is rich would be ideal, although clay or sand would be fine as well. These plants will tolerate, indeed, require constant moisture so they actually thrive in moist or wet sites. Water regularly or frequently, especially if the soil is well-drained or dries out quickly. If given the right conditions, these plants will self-sow prolifically creating a vivid multitude of flowers. However, they generally do not spread beyond into drier areas.
Geek Notes
Primula denticulata is native to the Himalaya Mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet, Burma, and China. The habitat is wet meadows from 5,000 to 14,500 feet.