Common Primrose (Ln. Primula vulgaris)

Family: Primulaceae. The Primula is the County flower of Devon, a small native, perennial woodland plant with wrinkled fleshy leaves and 5 notched petals. Largely a forest flower, which can also grow in grassland. 

The name derives the from the Latin, meaning the first Rose (to flower) although its not a rose.   

Conservation status: not at risk

No matter how good they look in your garden pot, you cannot beat their appearance in the natural environment. At the top of my lane – Bullbeggars Lane –  turning left on the Hertfordshire Way and then within a few minutes you will be entering Gutteridge Wood. This woodland is an old one, its trees are not dense but more open with areas where the sunlight pierces through. Here now are areas of primrose just starting to show their yellow and orange colour on the woodland floor. the 

early primrose

The Primrose is a sign that you could be in an ancient woodland. 


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81) was British Prime Minister twice in his life. His country home was Hughenden Manor which is now a National Trust property, in the Chiltern Hills and apparently he was Queen Victoria’s favourite Prime Minister. She used to send him his most favourite flower…, you guessed it!… the Primrose. 

“And in the wood, where often you and I, upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie..”

William Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night’s Dream  

April 2020: These were the Primroses last year

Leave a comment