Oxlip ( Primula elatior )


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Primulaceae (Primrose family)

Data Table

Attractive woodland perennial, locally common only in parts of E Anglia. Rather similar to primrose but the basal rosette comprises long-stalked oval leaves. 10 ­ 20 flowers, each 15 ­ 25mm across, borne in 1-sided, dropping heads, appear March to May. Height up to 20cm Flowers: April - May



A short hairy perennial, closely related to the more well known Primrose from which it differs by leaves, which become suddenly broader above the middle, as well as having deeper yellow flowers, which are arranged on an umbel (all the flower-stalks originate from the same point), as opposed to the Primrose where each flower has its own long stalk.

Oxlip is a plant of moist habitats, such as woods, coppices, ditches, moist grassy meadows and stream-sides on heavy soils.
It is locally common, especially in ancient coppices in East England.

It is remarkable how great a number of hybrids the Primrose family has produced. The many coloured Polyanthus, sold in garden centres is closely related to the Oxlip and Cowslip (P.veris).