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Primula vulgaris - Huds.

Common Name Primrose, Common Primrose, English Primrose
Family Primulaceae
USDA hardiness 5-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods and hedgerows on acid and calcareous soils[4, 17]. Also found in the open on north-facing slopes in south-western England[31].
Range Western Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Primula vulgaris Primrose, Common Primrose, English Primrose


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fornax
Primula vulgaris Primrose, Common Primrose, English Primrose
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pokrajac

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Lavender, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Primula vulgaris is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from December to May, and the seeds ripen from April to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

P. acaulis.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Meadow; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves
Edible Uses: Tea

Young leaves - raw or cooked as a potherb, added to soups etc[2, 177, 183]. A mild flavour, though the texture is a bit tough[K]. The leaves are often available all through the winter[K]. Flowers - raw or cooked. They make an attractive garnish to salads[4, 183, 238, K], and can also be used as a cooked vegetable or in conserves etc[4, 183]. Picked when first opened, the flowers are fermented with water and sugar to make a very pleasant and intoxicating wine[2]. Both the flowers and the leaves can be made into a syrup or a tea[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Antispasmodic  Astringent  Emetic  Sedative  Vermifuge

Primroses have a very long history of medicinal use and has been particularly employed in treating conditions involving spasms, cramps, paralysis and rheumatic pains[238]. They are, however, considered to be less effective than the related P. veris[238]. The plant contains saponins, which have an expectorant effect, and salicylates which are the main ingredient of aspirin and have anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge effects[238]. This remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women, patients who are sensitive to aspirin, or those taking anti-coagulant drugs such as warfarin[238]. The roots and the flowering herb are anodyne, antispasmodic, astringent, emetic, sedative and vermifuge[4]. An infusion of the roots is a good remedy against nervous headaches[4]. The roots are harvested in the autumn when two or three years old and dried for later use[4]. An ointment has been made from the plant and used for treating skin wounds[244].

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Other Uses

Makes a good carpet in open woodland and on woodland edges[24, 31]. Plants are best spaced about 35cm apart each way[208].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a medium to heavy moisture retentive humus rich loam in a cool position with light to medium shade[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are hardy to about -25°c[187]. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties[187]. The blooms have a characteristic fragrance of a mossy bank or a deciduous woodland[245]. This species hybridizes readily with P. elatior[17]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers.

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[133]. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame[1]. Germination is inhibited by temperatures above 20°c[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in autumn. This is best done every other year[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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12

 

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Expert comment

Author

Huds.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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Readers comment

   Sun Aug 24 2008

I've just found this on the BBC site, and it gives flowering time as March to May, which seems a lot more likely.

tiggsy   Sun Aug 24 2008

Is the flowering period given accurate? I don't see how seeds can ripen from april to august, if the flowers are on between December and May. Surely it should be April to December?

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