Cultivated Primrose - Primula vulgaris 'Cult.'


Cultivated Primroses can vary a great deal in colour and size.  They are probably hybrids between Primula vulgaris and P juliae (P x pruhonicensis) but other species may also be involved.  They often escape into the wild and are frequent in parks, churchyards and roadsides near habitation.  Following advice from the  local VC55 Botanical Society Group, only the standard pale yellow Primrose should be recorded as Primula vulgaris, all other coloured Primroses (white, pink, grey, blue, orange, red etc.) and those in habitats near cultivation should be recorded as Cultivated Primrose (Primula vulgaris 'Cult.').

Similar Species

Native primroses and the native hybrid between primrose and cowslip

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Often with pink or red or white coloured flowers, but with yellow varieties too; these can be very similar to the native.  Garden varieties are usually less hairy, and have leaves with longer petioles that are more abruptly contracted into the stalk.  

Recording advice

Plants with pink, red, purple, white flowers and plants of all colours in parks, roadside, near habitation and in churchyards etc should be recorded as this.  


May be found where discarded plants establish in the wild or are deliberately introduced.

When to see it

Flowering at any time from January onwards.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread in Britain as an introduction or an escape from cultivation.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland as an introduction or an escape from cultivation. It was not included in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire, and is not in the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011).

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map