Friday, 26 December 2008

Primula malacoides

The only primulas found in Sintra gardens today are the common primrose, Primula vulgaris. These are especially abundant at Regaleira. However gardeners never refer to them as "primulas" this term is reserved for botanical exotics - usually introduced from the Far East.

By 1929 Walter Oates could have been growing any number of species. See this thorough account of the activities of the Planthunters responsible for their introduction. However this species "The Fairy Primula" Primula malacoides is remarkable for its persistance in old Sintra gardens, and will reappear, as if by magic, following ground disturbance and clearing. The first time I noticed this was during recuperation of the gardens of Penha Verde - a former Cook family Quinta.

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