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Alaska Wildflowers | Pink

Arctic Primrose – Primula eximia
Nome Creek – White Mountain National Recreation Area

Arctic Primrose

Primula eximia (Ledeb.)

Primula pumela (Ledab.)
Primula tschuktschorum
*Note on nomenclature below

Genus: Primula
Family: Primulaceae
Order: Ericales

Duration: Perennial
Range: Alaska, northern Canada, Siberia
Uses: No known uses, unknown if edible – but, some primrose flowers and leaves are known to be edible


The Arctic primrose tends to live in very wet soil and stream beds. It grows to be about 10-12 cm tall. It typically has 5 lobed pink or purple-pink petals and has many flowers on a single stalk. The flowers are trumpet-like with the lobed petals opening outward. A white ring encloses the stamen typically not protruding beyond the corolla tube. Most of the petals have small notches in the center, unlike the similar-looking, rarer Chukchi primrose that is not notched. Leaves are basal, narrow, and slightly toothed and waxy.

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The more rare subspecies, Chukchi primrose has fewer flowers without notches and narrower leaves with a powdery farina.

*Note – ITIS accepted nomenclature is Primula pumela. USDA lists Primula eximia, not primula pumela. Both list Primula tschuktschorum (Chukchi primrose) as a synonym/subspecies.

Arctic Primrose Gallery


Primula pumela, ITIS Report
Primula eximia, USDA
Stewart River Training Area Rare Plant Survey 2006, Alaska Natural Heritage Program

Alaska Wildflowers | Pink

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