JAPANESE PRIMROSE Primula japonica

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Primula japonica, the Japanese primrose, Japanese cowslip, Queen of primroses, or valley red, is a species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae, native to Japan. The plant prefers shady, damp, poorly drained conditions such as those found at the edge of streams and ponds. The species is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 45 centimetres (18 in) tall and broad, with clusters of flowers on erect stems, emerging from rosettes of leaves to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long, in spring. The plant produces scapes which are 2 feet (0.61 m) high.

The main flower color for this plant is deep red-purple, though there can occasionally be pink and other colors.

Type: Hardy perennial

Hardiness zones: 5-8

Note: This plant species is known to cause dermatitis in some individuals.

Seeds per pack: 10

Germination:  As with many perennials, these seeds can benefit from a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:

Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds on the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.

Alternatively, these seeds can also be planted outdoors in fall, winter, or early spring, while temperatures are still cold (but ground is workable) to germinate naturally in spring. Be sure to mark the area where you planted them, and that the soil is consistently moist.

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