German Primrose, Poison Primrose

Primula obconica

Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Primula (PRIM-yew-luh) (Info)
Species: obconica (ob-KON-ih-kuh) (Info)


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

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:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


under 6 in. (15 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink



Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Light Blue

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Livermore, California

Grapeview, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 20, 2012, awjay from Shelton, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Wife bought a blue one last year for the first time. Plant lasted from early spring through summer/early fall in light shade (no direct sun). Lots of flower power for the money. Just bought 4 smaller ones of different colors at Wally's this year. They provide a lot of color for a long time.


On Mar 27, 2010, otter47 from Livermore, CA wrote:

When well grown, this primrose has a very long blooming period with gorgeous flowers in solid "Easter Egg" colors. Flowers colors are unusual in that many of them deepen with age, especially noticeable on the deeper violet, red, and magenta varieties. In my garden, located in an inland part of the Bay Area, I have to site these primroses carefully as they cannot take much frost (only down to the upper 20s) nor summer heat. Flower color fades if they receive too much sun. I mostly grow them in containers and treat them as winter to spring annuals, although I have had some live over for a second year. This plant is a popular florist's plant in many parts of the world. I saw many offered as such in Europe. It needs very cool growing conditions indoors.


On Mar 22, 2003, CanadaGoose from Oakville, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very pretty, fragrant. Like the drumhead primula, many flowers carried on each stem. Not frost tolerant, but likes cool conditions. Perennial usually treated as an annual. Can cause skin irritation during handling.