Primroses changing colour?

A couple of days ago I rescued some primroses from the brink of death on a supermarket shelf. They'd not been watered and were flat as a pancake, but I knew from the summer drought that all they needed was a good drink and they'd be good as new. I was right, and they are now looking very happy on my windowsill (I will plant them out when digging a hole doesn't create a pond.)

They are nice colours with masses of flowers - orangey-red with yellow centres (like this), and white with pink or purple frills/veins on the edges of the petals, and the standard yellow centre (like this).

But now the new flowers buds are coming through I can see the new flowers are going to be different colours. The red flowers are coming through pure yellow or pale orange, and the purple edged flowers are coming through white... and I don't know why! Did the extreme drought they suffered knock them and they can't muster the energy to have multiple colours? Are they out of nutrients or cramped in their pots? Is it too warm on my windowsill? Am I being impatient and the flowers will change colour with age?

Any advice on this mystery is welcome! Thank you!

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Posts

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    They're probably running out of dye or whatever is done to them to achieve those garish colours

  • Pretty sure they aren't dyed, nutcutlet. I certainly haven't been dying the ones that have been thriving in my borders for years. There's no reason I know of that they aren't bred just like any other plant that has non-native colours.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    It would be interesting to know what species or hybrid they are. Our natives crossed with something else? 

  • Unfortunately, being supermarket plants, they have no identifiers other than "primrose" and the size of the pot (9cm), so there's nothing solid to go on there.

    I did just learn about pin-eyed and thrum-eyed flowers though, here, of which I have both. Very interesting! 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    The plant world is fascinating

  • Absolutely. Also learnt that cyclamen are in the same family as primroses!

    I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens with these colour changing plants. If they want to be yellow and white then they are welcome to. Any colour this time of year is good to me!

  • Pretty sure they aren't dyed, nutcutlet. I certainly haven't been dying the ones that have been thriving in my borders for years. There's no reason I know of that they aren't bred just like any other plant that has non-native colours.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    No Panoply, you're right. I may not have been totally serious about that, sorryimage

    Do you think they may be the P. acaulis mentioned on another thread or a cross with vulgaris?

  • Primula acaulis is just an old name for Primula vulgaris. The bedding primroses are usually cultivars of P. vulgaris. No idea why they would change colour, though. Wait and see how they develop - they may end up the colour you expected.

  • Are the new flowers fully out?  Buds often look paler before they develop fully.  Can't think of any other reason for this other than starvation.  Well done for rescuing them.  It's nearly as bad as watching an animal die observing the way they treat plants in supermarkets.  All that effort raising them, transporting them, not to mention the peat, and then tossed.

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