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Herbaceous Perennial

Primula vulgaris subsp. vulgaris (Pr/Prim)
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

common primrose

P. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris is a rosette-forming perennial to 20cm, with obovate light green leaves and clusters of fragrant, long-stalked pale yellow flowers 2.5-4cm in width

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Yellow Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Primulaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Primula are herbaceous or semi-evergreen perennials, forming a basal rosette of simple leaves, with salver-shaped or bell-shaped flowers which may be solitary or carried in an umbel or in whorls on an erect stem

Name status

Correct

Horticultural Group
Primrose group primulas are mainly grown as herbaceous perennials, and produce clusters of flowers on individual stems from the basal rosettes, although a few may also have umbel-like flowers. They are either spring-flowering, if grown without protection, or winter- to spring-flowering, if grown as biennial container plants in greenhouses or indoors.
Plant range
Europe, N Africa, SW Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in partial shade or full sun but only if moist at all times. Good in open woodland or banks

Propagation

Propagate by seed or division in autumn and early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Patio and container plants
  • Rock garden
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Banks and slopes
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be attacked by aphids, glasshouse red spider mite, leafhoppers, vine weevil and slugs

Diseases

May be subject to primula brown core and grey moulds

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