Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zones 1-10, 12-24, 32-41
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water

Primula vulgaris

Common Primrose, English Primrose


Most primroses are native to the Himalayas and cool regions of southeast Asia and Europe. The plants form a foliage rosette; at bloom time, typically circular, sometimes fragrant flowers with five petals rise above the leaves. The petals usually overlap and are often indented at the apex, sometimes so deeply that each flower appears to have ten parts. Blossoms may be borne on individual stems, in clusters at stem ends, or in tiered, candelabra-like clusters along the stem.

Most primroses are spring blooming, but some start flowering in mid- to late winter in mild climates, and a few bloom in early summer. Some go dormant in late fall or winter; mark their location before they disappear.

Nearly all are good plants for the woodland garden.

Primula vulgaris

Grows to 8 in high and 1 ft. wide. Leaves are much like those of polyanthus primrose. Evergreen in milder climates. Borne singly; vigorous garden strains often bear 2 or 3 per stem. Flowers are white, yellow, red, blue, brown, bronze, or wine colored. Early spring. Good in woodland gardens, as edging, or in containers.

You Might Also Like...

Primula Polyanthus group

Grows to 8–12 in. high and 9 in. wide, with fresh green, tongue-shaped leaves that resemble roma...

Aster novi-belgii ‘Wood’s Pink’

Compact growth to 18 in. tall and wide, with bright pink flowers.

Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Native to China and Japan. This vine is semievergreen in mild-winter areas, can grow to at least 50 ft...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More