Primula vulgaris (English Primrose)

Scientific Name

Primula vulgaris Huds.

Common Names

English Primrose, Common Primrose, Wild Primrose


Primula acaulis, Primula veris var. acaulis

Scientific Classification

Family: Primulaceae
Subfamily: Primuloideae
Genus: Primula


Color: Typically pale yellow
Bloom Time: Late winter or early spring


Primula vulgaris is a perennial plant with a basal rosette of leaves more-or-less evergreen in favored habitats. It grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. Leaves are up to 10 inches (25 cm) long and up to 2.2 inches (6 cm) wide, often heavily wrinkled, with an irregularly crenate to dentate margin and a usually short leaf stem. The delicately scented flowers are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter and are borne singly on short slender stems. They are typically pale yellow, though white or pink forms are often seen in nature.

Primula vulgaris - English Primrose
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How to Grow and Care

Potted indoor Primulas are a delightful way to usher out winter or welcome in the spring. They are available in a wide range of striking colors, forming a mass of flowers. Most people prefer the taller, upright delicate Primulas indoors, but even a pot of common Primula is an excellent addition. Extend the flowering season by pinching off dying buds. Then, after the plant has done blooming, consider moving it outside. While inside, do not overwater; wilting even though the plant is getting water is a sign of root rot.

It's unlikely you'll be repotting your potted Primula. If you do, make sure not to bury them too deep—burying too deep is a prime reason Primula succumb. Bury the plants so the top of the root ball is slightly elevated above the level of the surrounding soil. Never pile soil up around the stem of a flowering plant.

They are propagated from seeds, which are sown directly in soil or potting media. Most pots of indoor Primula are purchased as flowering plants, destined to be set atop a desk, sill, or table until they're done flowering.

See more at How to Grow and Care for Primula.


Native to western and southern Europe (from the Faroe Islands and Norway south to Portugal, and east to Germany, Ukraine, the Crimea, and the Balkans), northwest Africa (Algeria), and southwest Asia (Turkey east to Iran).


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