Scottish primrose Primula scotica

The Scottish primrose is often found near the coast and is endemic to a small area in the very north of Scotland. This means that the Scottish primrose is found only in Scotland and nowhere else in the world.

This small, delightful flower grows on moist but well-drained, grazed grasslands. Under-grazing or over-grazing can be damaging to this species. Losses of plants have been attributed to fences blocking grazing cattle, agricultural improvement, house building and tree planting.

Behaviour

The Scottish primrose features clusters of dark purple flowers with yellow centres, atop smooth stalks. Each flower has five heart-shaped petals. The base of this plant also has oval leaves which are deeply veined.

Size

  • Height: approx 4cm
  • Flowers: 8mm in diameter

Status

It is listed on the Government’s Scottish Biodiversity List and is classified as being ‘nationally
scarce’.

Distribution

Endemic to Scotland, only found in the wild in Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney.

When to see

May – July

Facts

  • Scottish primrose does not seem to be attractive to insects, despite its colourful appearance. It is self fertilising and many plants may never flower.
  • The Scottish primrose was originally the emblem of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and still features in our logo today.

Common name

Scottish primrose

Species name

Primula scotica

IUCN Red List status

N/a

When to see in Scotland

May – July

Where to see in Scotland

The only Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve where these plants can be seen is the Hill of White Hamars in Orkney.

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top