Primula x polyantha   False Oxlip C DD N

Primula x polyantha

You occasionally find these hybrids between the P. veris (Cowslip) and the P. vulgaris (Primrose) where the parents grow reasonably near together. This isn't as often as you might think because the Cowslip is a plant of the meadow and open hillside while Primroses grow in woods and often under hedges or on banks in shade. They tend not to grow near each other that often.

Identification isn't really a problem - the hybrid looks like a Primrose on a stalk. The flowers point in any old direction but do appear to have anthers. It looks nothing like a true Oxlip which in any case only grow in a few woods in East Anglia. The hybrid between the genuine Oxlip and the Primrose is quite common in such woods and is similar in some respects to this hybrid but the flowers are more regularly spaced on the stem and the hairiness is different.

Primula x polyantha is reported from much of southern England but some of these records could well be confused with the very similar looking P. x polyantha cultivar which has escaped from gardens. Records become thinner as you go north into Scotland and in Wales it is found in the north and south but not much in hilly mid Wales. In Ireland records are dotted around the middle of the island.

Llanedwen Churchyard, Anglesey, 5th April 2005

Added on April 7th 2005, updated July 25th 2011

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