New National Plant Collection of Primula vulgaris (Double Primroses) for Plant Heritage

Plant Heritage, is delighted to welcome a new National Plant Collection® of Primula vulgaris (Double Primroses) to its nationwide scheme.

Caroline Stone, a keen gardener from North Cornwall, was determined to establish a new National Plant Collection and preserve some of the wonderful old double primroses that have been disappearing from gardens. A combination of virus disease and relentless weevil attack has led to the disappearance of many of these captivating, and very hardy, spring perennials.

Caroline started with just six double primroses and after winning some prizes with them at the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Show she decided to get a few more. Caroline said:

“It quickly became obvious that there were very few old varieties being sold, but the more difficult it was to find them, the keener I got. On my last count I have around 80 varieties. I have been alerted to plants that I thought were lost for ever, and have been told about plants that I had not heard of and have no documentation for. I think there are perhaps fewer plants left for me to track down now, but who knows what someone may have been taking care of in their own garden?”

With the help of Plant Heritage’s Threatened Plants Project, Caroline managed to track down the rare and threatened Primula ‘Fife Yellow’ from RHS Garden Wisley in October 2013.

“I was thrilled to finally track down ‘Fife Yellow’ and what started as just a tiny piece has grown away vigorously. There are now seven individual clumps; of which several have multiple crowns so next time I divide I should have quite a good stock of plants.”

Caroline was also able to track down Primula ‘Bon Accord Gem’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and is now has an agreement that she will send them plants of Scottish Heritage.

Speaking on the announcement of this new Collection Plant Heritage Conservation Officer Sophie Leguil said:

“Caroline Stone’s relentless search for missing double primroses is the perfect demonstration of the dedication shown by Collection Holders. I am pleased that our Threatened Plants Project has proved a successful tool in helping her find rare cultivars, and I look forward to future developments in the collection. It would be great to see some of these valuable plants reintroduced to the trade.”

Caroline is still keen to track down as many missing varieties as possible and has a wishlist on her website – could you have one growing in your own garden? 
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