Primrose - Primula vulgaris


Low hairy plant. Leaves oval, tapered to the stalk, finely hairy, bright green above, lighter and hairy beneath. Flowers pale yellow, 20 to 40 mm solitary, usually with orange markings in the centre, fragrant.

Similar Species

Garden primroses and 'Polyanthas'

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Escaped garden varieties can be very similar, but the native is usually hairier and with leaves gradually tapered to the base.  Flowers are almost always yellow.      

Recording advice

The true native is associated with old woodland and wooded habitats such as hedgebanks away from habitation; only plants found in these situations should be recorded. 


Moist shaded habitats, woods, thickets, grassy banks and ditches.

When to see it

March to May.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread in Britain, but thought to be declining.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 134 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as native, old woodland; locally frequent.

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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