English Primrose

Primula vulgaris

Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Primula (PRIM-yew-luh) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)
Synonym:Primula acaulis
Synonym:Primula malacoides
View this plant in a garden


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Carlotta, California

Chowchilla, California

Clifton, Colorado

Wilmington, Delaware

Kalona, Iowa

Dracut, Massachusetts

Lexington, Massachusetts

Hilton, New York

Ithaca, New York

Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon

Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Springfield, Virginia

Federal Way, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 5, 2004, shortcm from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love these little plants (at least mine are little). I always buy up the ones on the "leftover" table at the nurseries in August. They bloom first just before Easter, here. Mine are in hot clay soil, partial shade, and not much moisture; they don't thrive, but they do survive. A neighbor has them in mostly shade and they get HUGE (12" wide by "8 tall); she probably waters and feeds them regularly.


On Dec 12, 2003, karenlang from San Rafael, CA wrote:

My plant looks just like this one in the foliage and size and height of the blooms. But mine has blossoms formed with two light pink lobes on top and three deep pink lobes below, and it is still blooming in December. There are only two flowers per stem usually. The plant is about 17 inches across and the blooms are about 2 1/2" long and wide. If anyone knows the correct name for mine, please let me know.

I am in North Bay Area of California inland between bay and ocean. I have it in a pot. It didn't like the cold and so it is indoors now (Dec). Last winter it survived (barely)outside and now has bloomed nearly the whole year (from spring until now). It got mealy bugs in the summer from? No other plants in my garden have them! I feed it African Violet food regularly. It is a ... read more


On Aug 30, 2002, Baa wrote:

Has mid green, broadly lance shaped, toothed leaves with conspicuous veins. Bears 5 petalled, salverform, scented, pale yellow flowers.

Flowers mainly in February - May

Loves a constantly moist but drained soil in light shade. It will tolerate some alkalinity and sun where happy. Easy to grow, it even enjoys clay!

One of the first plants to flower in the year and has been used in the past as a medicinal herb. Among the things it was said to cure are; madness, scrofula and headaches. Today you can buy herbal Primrose tea (please, get advice first from a trained herbalist!) which is suppose to ease; migraines, arthritis, rheumatism, insomnia and as a blood cleanser. A root decotion is sometimes used to treat coughs and other mild respiratory probl... read more


On Apr 29, 2001, karenmarie from Fall River, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8
Height: 9 in Spread: 12 in
Type: herbaceous perennial
Flowers: Blue, purple, yellow

Comments: English Primrose produces tight bunches of
flowers (Vis. 1) in the spring. The flowers may be single
or double. They require a moist, well-drained soil and
partial shade. When the plants are grown in the sun they
require regular watering.

Propagation: Seed or division. Divide the clumps as soon
as they finish flowering.

Cultivars: This listing contains cultivars described in
catalogs as either P. acaulis or P. vulgaris.
'Blue Jeans' - Gray-blue flowers striped with dark
'Double Primrose' - Yellow, variable, semi-double
... read more