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Primula 'mutation'

soulboysoulboy Posts: 429

I'm hoping that someone knows what has happened to this primula, which is quite odd in my limited experience.

A year or so ago I planted a very small section of a divided primula next to a log in my front garden, in the semi-shade of my philadelphus.

As it developed and grew new leaves it seemed quite normal at first. After a while I noticed it had developed small hard protuberances on the upper side of the leaves, which developed into a thorny shape. They appeared to 'bursting from the underside of the leaves. These disappeared after some time and as the leaves grew bigger this year, they were longer and more slender than usual for a primula.

As it wasn't developing normally it was always my intention to dig it out, which I did yesterday. It was also smaller than I would expect for the time it had been in the ground. But what I also discovered, which you can see clearly in the photo's is that it had developed small, very sharp and solid small thorns along the under-spine of the leaves, as well as quite a large taproot, neither of which I've ever seen on a primula.

A couple of things that may have affected it are that it was very close to the log and was also very entangled in the fine roots of the philadelphus. In every other respect the leaves and roots looked very healthy. Also it hasn't flowered, whereas the other divided sections have.

Could this be a defensive adaptation to being crowded or some kind of disease?

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Posts

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,397

    I don't think that's a primula. I think something has seeded by it and taken over. Looks like a mini teasel but there are other plants with spines like that

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 33,888

    I don't think that this particular plant is a Primula. It looks very much to me like a Teasel.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 33,888

    Thats a 'snap' nutcutlet. image

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,397

    as there is so often Ladybird image

  • soulboysoulboy Posts: 429

    I think you're both spot on. I've just done a quick search for 'teasel leaf thorns' on Google and not only do they have the identical thorns on the spine they show thorns forming on the top side of the leaves, too, which clinches it for me. It's identical to what happened with this plant.

    I think that's what's happened is that this isn't in fact a section of divided plant, but a plant that looked similar to a primula that was moved when moving and dividing plants. Thanks!

  • B3B3 Posts: 21,537

    It's quite difficult to tell them apart when the seedlings are small.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • soulboysoulboy Posts: 429

    Indeed. image

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