The Jensen-Olson Arboretum in Juneau Alaska has recently been granted National Collections status for the genus Primula by the Plant Collections Network. This is quite an honor for a garden that only opened as a public institution in 2007.
The Arboretum’s founder, Caroline Jensen, dearly loved primroses and planted them accordingly. Arboretum Horticulturist and Manager, Merrill Jensen (no relation), recognized and built upon that foundation by expanding her collection into North America’s largest documented collection- now approaching close to 200 accessions. The vast majority of Primula grow in the high, damp alpine meadows of the Himalayas where 334 species are native. They can also be found as spring wildflowers across the European countryside and mountain ranges. Juneau’s cool, maritime climate is perfect for the cultivation of primrose.