Primula × bulleesiana
Common Name: primrose 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Primulaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Includes orange, red, rose, cream, lavender, purple
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Wet Soil


Best grown in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates close to full shade. Plants may be grown in full sun conditions in cool northern summer climates, but prefer afternoon shade in the St. Louis area. Plants are intolerant of the summer heat and humidity of the deep South in USDA Zones 8-10. Plants appreciate a spring-summer mulch that will help maintain soil moisture and keep roots cool. Plants thrive in placements along streams or ponds and tolerate some wet soils. Plant foliage may depreciate considerably in the heat of the summer. Propagate by division in spring after bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Primula × bulleesiana, commonly called candelabra primrose, is a hybrid cross between P. bulleyana and P. beesiana. Bright, salverform, late spring flowers bloom in tightly-clustered tiered whorls (3 to 6 per stem) on leafless stems typically rising to 18-24" tall from basal rosettes of ovate to lanceolate, medium green leaves. Flower colors are often in the salmon-apricot to terra cotta range, but are variable and include cream, rose, red, lavender and purple.

The genus name Primula means "little earliest one" and is the feminine diminutive of the Latin primus.

The hybrid name bulleesiana is a mix of the two parent species names.

The common name candelabra primrose is often applied to a number of primroses in section Proliferae. They are characterized by having tiered whorls of blooms.


Slugs, snails, aphids and red spider mites are sometimes seen. Botrytis, root rot, rust, powdery mildew and leaf spots may occur. Susceptible to several viruses.


Bright spring flowers that grow well in part shade locations including border fronts, rock gardens, open woodland gardens, under trees, along streams/ponds or in boggy areas. May be an effective edger. Also may be grown in pots.