Plant Focus: Primula Scotica

Primula Scotica, the Scottish Primrose, always astounds with its beauty. It is about 4cm in height and its flowers are 8mm in diameter.

This plant is only found in the north of Scotland, Caithness has it as its county flower, and in Orkney. It is classified as being ‘nationally scarce’.

It mostly occurs in areas of maritime heath – like that of Yesnaby, Orkney.

It can only reproduce by seed and flowers twice a year.


  • Scottish primrose is fertilised by some insect pollinators, such as hoverflies, but it can also self fertilise and does so frequently
  • The Scottish primrose was originally the emblem of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and still features in the logo today.

The discovery of Primula Scotica in the 19th C is credited to the Scottish botanist James Smith (1763- 1848)

image credit: B Bell

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