Fine Art

Primula elatior

Primula elatior, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Ordo: Ericales

Familia: Primulaceae
Subfamilia: Primuloideae
Genus: Primula
Subgenus: P. subg. Primula
Section: P. sect. Primula
Species: Primula elatior
Subspecies: P. e. subsp. elatior – P. e. subsp. intricata – P. e. subsp. leucophylla – P. e. subsp. lofthousei – P. e. subsp. pallasii – P. e. subsp. pseudoelatior

Primula elatior (L.) Hill

Primula veris var. elatior L.


The Vegetable System 8:25 (1765)


International Plant Names Index. 2017. Primula elatior. Published online. Accessed: Oct. 14 2017.
The Plant List 2013. Primula elatior in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2017 Oct. 14. 2017. Primula elatior. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 14 Oct. 2017.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. (L.) Hill in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: Primula elatior.
Primula elatior (L.) Hill – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Primula elatior – Taxon details on National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

Vernacular names
беларуская: Першацвет высокі
български: крилатолистна иглика
čeština: prvosenka vyšší
Cymraeg: Briallen-Fair ddi-sawr
dansk: Fladkravet Kodriver
Deutsch: Hohe Schlüsselblume, Wald-Schlüsselblume
English: oxlip, true oxlip
español: lilicopa, bellorita, bellorita encarnada, bragas de cuco, gallos, hierba de San Pablo mayor, manguitos, nabo montés, papagalls de primavera, primavera, primavera común, primicias de la luna, primicias del buen día, yerba de San Pablo Mayor, yerba de San Pedro, yerba de San Pedro mayor
فارسی: پریمولا الاتیور
suomi: Etelänkevätesikko
français: Primevère élevée, Primevere elevee, Coucou des bois
hornjoserbsce: Łučny kropačk
magyar: Sugárkankalin, sugár kankalin, sudár kankalin
íslenska: Huldulykill
italiano: Primula maggiore
norsk bokmål: Hagenøkleblom
Nederlands: Slanke Sleutelbloem
polski: Pierwiosnek wyniosły, Pierwiosnka wyniosła
română: Ciuboțica cucului de munte, Ciuboțica cucului
русский: Первоцвет высокий
slovenčina: prvosienka vyššia
svenska: Lundviva
Türkçe: Hakiki çuha çiçeği

Primula elatior, the oxlip[1] (or true oxlip), is a species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae, native to nutrient-poor and calcium-rich damp woods and meadows throughout Europe, with northern borders in Denmark and southern parts of Sweden, eastwards to the Altai Mountains and on the Kola Peninsula in Russia, and westwards in the British Isles.


The oxlip is a herbaceous or semi-evergreen[2] perennial plant growing to 30 cm (12 in) tall by 25 cm (10 in) broad, with a rosette of leaves 5–15 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. It produces light yellow flowers in spring, in clusters of 10-30 together on a single stem 10–30 cm (4–12 in) tall, each flower 9–15 mm broad.[3]

It may be confused with the closely related cowslip (Primula veris), which has a similar general appearance, although P. veris has smaller, bell-shaped, bright yellow flowers (and red dots inside the flower), and a corolla tube without folds. The leaves of P. veris are more spade-shaped than P. elatior.

The specific epithet elatior means "taller".[4] The common name "oxlip", from "ox" and "slip", may refer to the fact that oxlips (and cowslips) are often found in boggy pasture used by cattle.[5]

Primula elatior is cultivated as a garden plant. It may be used as bedding, grown from seed as a biennial, and discarded after flowering. It may be used in informal settings such as wildflower meadows. It prefers a sheltered position in full sun with moist soil. It has won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. [2]
County flower

The oxlip was voted the County flower of Suffolk in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.[6]

BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
"Primula elatior". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
Shorter Oxford English dictionary, 6th ed. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. 2007. p. 3804. ISBN 978-0199206872.
Plantlife website County Flowers page Archived 2015-04-30 at the Wayback Machine

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