Primula sikkimensis – fasciation

My growing addiction to Primulas has resulted in me starting to buy some more unusual varieties.  One of this year’s purchases was Primula sikkimensis from Kevock Gardens in Scotland.  When I opened the parcel back early in the year I have to admit that the plant didn’t look that inspiring but I potted it up and put it to one side in the holding bay along with all the other plants waiting for a new home.

Now if I am brutally honest I have to admit to forgetting about it.  What with limited gardening time due to work and rain and a large project on the go it was forgotten until yesterday when I noticed some wane looking plants.  There tucked in the back was a soft glimmer of buttery yellow – nope still no memory of the plant, hopeless I know.  Anyway, I negotiated my way to the back of the holding bay and plucked the small pot out.  To say I was thrilled at the beautiful flower I found would be an understatement.  I love the colour it is much like our native primrose but just a little stronger without being brassy.  I am also quite taken with the arrangement of the whorl  of flowers.  However, there was something very strange about this particular plant – it is suffering from fasciation.

You can just see from the photo above the strangely thick stem which looks like more than one stem fused together but is also fairly flat.  Apparently primulas are prone to fasciation and the mutation doesn’t usually occur from one year to another.  There are a number of possible reasons for it: a virus, the bacterium Rhodococcus fascians, a genetic mutation or an incident such as frost or animal damage.  I wonder if this plant has mutated due to the strange and extreme shifts in weather we have had this spring.  Anyway, I find it quite fascinating and it will be interesting to see if it reappears next year.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. leenie says:

    Very pretty variety 🙂

  2. Holleygarden says:

    I had fasciation appear on a rose last year. It looks pretty on your primula. It didn’t look pretty on my rose! It hasn’t appeared again this year, and our weather has been better than last. It will be interesting to see what your plant does next year.

  3. kininvie says:

    It happens quite a lot with me (but then I have a lot of primulas). It only seems to be the sikkimensis section that is affected (p.florindae, p.alpicola, p.sikkimensis etc.) The candelabras in section proliferae, for example, don’t suffer from it. It’s less of a problem than slugs – do watch out for slugs eating through the flower stem…

  4. I have never had this happen to a plant and it is interesting…lovely flowers and I can see why you have an obsession with primulas!

  5. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Yvonne – NZ – Lovely – I have a yellow and purple polyanthus out – hasn’t stopped flowering since last spring – so will continue over winter – some abiconicas (spelling?) and the little multi flowered ones that get used in mass (forgotten name) The pop up every year and I add a few – I like the white ones, but some pink and purple ones.

  6. Fay says:

    Rather weirdly I love fasciated plants, seen many including a forsythia once with flowers all out of the flattened stem. Lovely colour that primula, kevock is a great nursery, chum once worked there, always great display at gardening Scotland 🙂

  7. Dobby says:

    I rather like that. Will have to keep an eye out for it next month.!

  8. Simon Smith says:

    Really beautiful plant – quite understated. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fasciation is due to the odd weather – it’s confusing enough to us humans, let alone plants and other animals!

  9. Kathleen says:

    oooh ~ love, love, love this primula Helen but I’m a sucker for them too. Our climate isn’t as pleasing to them as yours but I try anyway. One place I’ve found they do pretty well is around the pond ~ at least they get overflow moisture there. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for this one.
    I haven’t ever noticed a fasciation before ~ maybe there’s been one & I’ve missed it?? Interesting.
    Congrats on having your cat 1 year! I’m glad you gave in & got her too. Cats are awesome (I guess you can tell I love them too!!) Maybe you’ll always have one from now on???

    Wish you could share some of that rain. Doesn’t seem fair! I’m not ready for winter by any means but I wouldn’t mind a cool down. The hot temperatures with no rain have been miserable. I’m trying to decide if I’m really a summer person now or not!!!
    Barcelona looks like it was fun, although a big city would wear on me after a while too. I like a place big enough to get everything I need but after that, no thanks!
    You’ve been busy this summer. Enjoy the rest of it, hope you get some sun & great to catch up on your posts!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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