While Bulley’s candelabra primrose can naturalize, it is best to plant three to five to insure pollination and seed set. (Richie Steffen)

While Bulley’s candelabra primrose can naturalize, it is best to plant three to five to insure pollination and seed set. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Primula bulleyana, Bulley’s candelabra primrose

This primrose can naturalize, but it is best to start with more than one to insure pollination and seed set.

What: Primula bulleyana, also known as Bulley’s candelabra primrose, demand attention in shade gardens because of their fragrant, erect, multi-tiered noble blooms. In late spring, Primula bulleyana’s dazzling orange blooms are borne in tiered flower whorls, five to seven per stalk. Its foliage is mid-green, lanced shaped, semi-evergreen with toothed margins to 12 inches. These primroses are very long-lived and need part shade, rich soil and regular watering. Growing 18 to 24 inches tall, they quickly establish to a good size by self-sowing and look particularly stunning when grown in mass. Primula bulleyana may be semi-deciduous in winter but will return with vigor each spring.

Where: This candelabra primrose grows best in open to light shade and protected from hot afternoon sun. Grow in a rich moist to wet soil. This primrose can tolerate sand and clay if the site is moist.

Size: This primrose grows to be 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide when mature.

Care: Once established, Bulley’s candelabra primrose can naturalize, but it is best to start with three to five plants to insure proper pollination and good seed set. Faded flower stems can be removed once the seed has disbursed. In fall, cut back any yellowing foliage to tidy up.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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