False Oxlip - Primula vulgaris x veris = P. x polyantha

Alternative names
Primula x polyantha

A natural hybrid; where native cowslips (Primula veris) and primroses (P. vulgaris) grow together they sometimes hybridise to produce the False Oxlip. It is generally a larger plant than the cowslip. 

Similar Species

Some forms of garden primrose and 'Polyanthas'. The true Oxlip has never been found in VC55. 

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Flowers in an umbel on a scape (flower stalk); yellow flowers.  Intermediate in leaf, flowers and hairiness between primrose and cowslip. Escaped 'Polyanthas' usually have different coloured flowers and should be recorded as P vulgaris 'Cult'. 

Recording advice

Only record in areas where the two parents are found in wild populations, usually in woodland or old hedgebanks; plants in different colours to yellow; or near habitation, parks and gardens, churchyards etc should be recorded as P vulgaris 'Cult'


In areas where both parents are found.

When to see it

Flowers April and May.

Life History

Hybrid perennial.

UK Status

To follow

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as native, woodland, occasional

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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