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Primula denticulata


Drumstick primula, tooth-leaved primrose

Dramatic 'balls' of purple flowers every spring

A welcome sight in early spring when fresh green shoots appear from the ground and develop into rosettes of fresh green, toothed leaves. Upright flower stems soon follow, growing to 20cm (8ins) or more carrying a mass of tight buds which open into ball-shaped clusters of tiny flowers in shades of white, mauve and purple. The flowers are long-lasting and several “drumstick” heads appear from each rosette as the plants mature.


Plant in full sun or semi-shade at the front of beds and borders, in pots or by a pond or water feature.


Any moist, fertile soil. Thrives in moist conditions and cold situations. Cut back flowerheads after flowering and remove dead leaves in winter. Older plants can be lifted and divided to produce more. 

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Perennial herbaceous
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available February - June
Season of interest Spring, Summer
Flowering March - April
Evergreen No
Plant height 10 cm - 25 cm
Plant width 10 cm - 20 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Hazardous Yes
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 25 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H5

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds, Rock garden

Typically available

From February to June