PRIMROSE, a popular name for many gar den and wild plants, among which the following are probably the best known: Evening prim rose ((Enothera biennis, etc.) ; Arabian prim rose (Arnebia cornuta) ; Cape primrose (Strep tocarpus spp.) ; and various species of the genius Primula. This last consists of about 150 species of mostly perennial herbs with ro settes of leaves of various forms (especially under cultivation), and salver-shaped, generally showy, white, yellow, pink, lilac and purple flowers borne in clusters upon stapes. They are natives of the north temperate zone, one species South American, one Javanese, and gen erally common in mountainous countries. About 40 are Himalayan ; a dozen North Ameri can. They may be divided into five groups ac cording to their uses as ornamental plants for which purpose they have long been popular. The auricula (q.v.) and the alpine primroses, neither of which are widely popular in America, the former because the climate is believed to be against them, the latter because alpine gardens have not become popular. Third, the yellow or purple-flowered outdoor species such as P. smperialis and P. japonica, which with winter mulching are grown in the Northern States; the polyanthus group, which contains the oxlip (P. elation) and the cowslip (P. officinalis), very popular, fully hardy favorites blooming in early spring; and the greenhouse primroses, such as the Chinese (P. sinensis), P. obconica
and P. forbesi (baby primrose), all of which are widely popular houseplants. Propagation Is usually by seed, though varieties that do not come true to type may often be propagated by division or cuttings. Seed should be sown soon after its collection, since it quickly deteriorates if allowed to become dry. In general, prim roses succeed best in deep, well-drained, loose, rich loam not exposed to the glare of the sun. The polyanthus kinds may be grown in cold frames during the winter, set in beds in early spring, removed after flowering to shady moist situations for the summer, divided in the autumn and planted in cold frames again. The yellow blossomed kinds are favorites with florists. The greenhouse kinds are sown under glass in early spring and kept growing steadily in flower pots of increasing sizes until the 6-inch size is reached in autumn when they should begin to blossom. The soil for them should be light, loose and rich both in plant food and humus. At the primrose shows there are often 200 to 300 distinct varieties on exhibition, mostly of P. sinensis, which has developed many remark ably beautiful forms attractive in foliage as well as flower.