Primula farinosa   Bird's-eye Primrose RR DD N

Primula farinosa whole Primula farinosa close

I was introduced to this delicate little plant on my first ever Wild Flower Society meeting at Gaitbarrows. There were a reasonable number of plants in 1987 but now there are many more through careful nurturing by the Wardens of this special reserve.

This plant also represents a personal victory in understanding of plant ecology. I knew that P. farinosa only grew on lime rich soils in a limited number of places in England. Studying the OS map I tried to pick out limestone pavement in the Clapham area and located one such patch of rock. On a sunny day during what I believed would be its prime flowering period, I set out to an unknown area of the country believing I ought to find the Bird's-eye Primrose growing there. And there it was.

Primula farinosa has an interesting distribution in that it is not too difficult to find in the limestone areas which are in a band across northern England (Lancashire and Yorkshire mainly) but it is absent form the rest of England, and the whole of Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The odd record here and there corresponds to garden escapes but it is native only in this relatively small region of northern England.

Primula farinosa

Primula farinosa Bird's-eye Primrose

Gaitbarrows Lancs 12th May 2004

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Primula farinosa Bird's-eye Primrose 20th May 2004

LHS: Teesdale Moorhouse reserve, western Pennines 17th May 2008 LHS: Gaitbarrows Lancs 12th May 2004

Added on February 1st 2005, updated 24th July 2011

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