Jensen-Olson Arboretum Honored for Primula Collection

By: Merrill Jensen

Merrill Jensen is manager of the Jensen-Olson Arboretum in Juneau, Alaska. He previously was director of horticulture at the Elizabeth…

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An array of drumstick primulas (Primula denticulata) at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum, Juneau, Alaska. Photo: Merrill Jensen

The Jensen-Olson Arboretum in Juneau Alaska has recently been granted National Collections status for the genus Primula by the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC).  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 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 the genus 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.

For more information and photos, see Merrill’s related article (link below).