Origin of the name of the primrose is the Latin name Primula verisbotan, which can be translated as ‘true cowslip’. At the same time, the name stands for the term ‘little first in the spring’. The literal meaning of primrose comes from the fact that it is one of the first flowers in spring, which heralds the coming season. “The first”, which is mainly at home in the German forests, unfolds the flowers already in January. Also known as the primrose is “cowslip”.


The primrose is classified in the genus of primrose plants. This includes a total of about 500 species. Many of them are well-known balcony and bedding plants, which occur in different colors. In general, the primrose bears the red, purple, yellow and white inflorescences in individual umbels. These are enclosed by a cup-like calyx. The leaves have a roundish shape. The whole flower is hairy and reaches a size of 10 to 30 centimeters.
Primroses come in different colors and varieties. These spring flowers enjoy great popularity for this reason. Because they are also among the first plants of the year, these usually bloom from February.

Depending on the type of primrose, primroses bloom at different times. On the one hand, there is a wide range for those of the flowering period. In the months of December to April, the radially symmetrical and hermaphroditic flowers, which have five teeth, can be present. These frilly or double flowers are rarely found singly. Mostly 2 to 25 strands of flowers stand together as whorls or umbels and shine in the most different colors. Rather rarely, however, red, yellow or white flowers are found. Primroses bloom perennially, and gardeners should pay attention to some aspects of care to enjoy them for a long time. This also concerns planting.

primrose white

Brown capsule-like fruits, which are cylindrical to round, form from the fertilized inflorescences by summer. The fruit contains about 100 seeds, which germinate in the light.
Primrose usually survives the winter without leaves. In some varieties, the foliage remains during the winter months.
Different primrose species contain certain amounts of active substances such as saponins, which are used in medicine. However, in sensitive people, touching the individual parts of the plant may cause skin irritation, vomiting and nausea. In the hybrid cultivars such ingredients are present only in small quantities than in the other varieties.

Primrose is native to the mountain ranges of Eastern and Central Europe. In the Alps it is found from as far as Schneeberg in Vienna. Thus, altitudes from 1500 to 3000 meters are optimal. Occurrences are also the Giant Mountains the Carpathians, the Tatras, the Balkans and the mountains in Bulgaria.


Primroses are offered in pots in our latitudes especially at the beginning of the year. Therefore, they are often an eye-catcher in the colorful arrangements in the living room at home. In the window box and also in the cold frame primroses should be planted in groups. Together with daffodils or tulips, the early bloomers awaken real spring feelings in the viewer. In a beautiful place primroses can also be combined with ivy and grasses, and here they are also stylish attractions. Primroses are generally striking appearance plants, because the flowers sit on stems about ten centimeters high.

Since most primrose species originate from the alpine region, they are generally very frost-resistant in the bed. Especially the cushion primrose, which is one of the best-selling plants in spring, is a winter-hardy plant, which generally likes it better in the garden bed than in a flower pot. Only in the case of very severe night frost, the flowers of the plant should be covered. Primroses in flower pots overwinter best in a cool and bright place.
Quite strong primrose plants are particularly resistant to various diseases. If the plant is too wet, then most often appear gray mold or rot on the roots. The latter is manifested by a pale color or withered leaves. In this case, only transplanting will help. Completely moldy plants must be disposed of. A direct infestation with pests occurs rather rarely with primroses.