For a Primula this has got to be the weird family member. It's the non-conformist, the attention seeker, and it is definitely unlike the typical garden types.
This plant bears little resemblance to its relatives, such as P. denticulata, P. bulleyana, or P. vulgaris, and on first inspection it looks more like the smaller cousin of a Knifofia as opposed to a Primula. The foliage, on the other hand, is definitely characteristic of it's relatives.
In recent years Primula vialii has become ever more popular with gardeners and quite readily available in most garden centres throughout the UK.
I've recently used this plant in several places in my garden and it is especially effective when planted in small clumps. An acidic soil is preferable and it is the perfect plant for a shady area with moist soil. Shaded areas are often quite difficult to introduce colour into so you can imagine just how valuable this plant can be in such settings.
Also, as for encouraging wildlife, just like other Primula's, it excels. All manner of flying insects flock to it's flower spikes, which are not only gorgeous but long lasting too.
So if you're looking for an unusual and striking plant for the front of a border, or a shadier area consider this plant the next time you're at the garden centre.
I'm planning on propagating this plant in the near future and I'm hoping to try to sow its seeds "green". If anyone has used this method of propagation with this plant then I would be interested to hear from you.