Primula vulgaris

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPrimulaceaePrimulaPrimula vulgaris


An evergreen, or sometimes aestivating, perennial herb typical of sites shaded from hot sun, found in woodland, on N.-facing banks, in hedgerows, coastal slopes and shaded montane cliffs. Reproduction is by seed, which is usually dispersed by ants. 0-850 m (Mt Brandon, S. Kerry).



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1108

Life form information

Height (cm): 15

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2651

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 934

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 11

Atlas Change Index: 0.16

Weighted Changed Factor: 12

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (201c)
Atlas Supp (46c)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Mabey R
1996.  Flora Britannica.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
Valverde T, Silvertown J
1997.  A metapopulation model for Primula vulgaris, a temperate forest understorey herb. Journal of Ecology. 85:193-210.