Primula deorum

Rila Primrose

Pictures of Rila Primrose (Primula deorum)

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Common name

Rila Primrose

Scientific name

Primula deorum Velen.

Conservation status and threats

PROTECTED by the law in Bulgaria.

The species is listed in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria to the category "Vulnerable" (IUCN)1.

Description and identification

Perennial herbs with long horizontal or oblique root. Stem 2–39 cm high, erect, glabrous, sticky beneath the inflorescence, green or violet. Leaves lanceolate to wide lanceolate, erect, coriaceous, in a basal rosette, with very short, glandular hairs above, greyish green glabrous beneath. Scape 5-20 cm, fragrant and viscid, more or less dark violet towards the apex, 3- to 18-flowered. Corolla deep reddish to violet purple. Fruit a dehiscent, unilocular capsule. Flowering June–August, fr. VIII–IX. Reproduction by seeds and vegetatively2.

Distribution in Bulgaria

Rila and Vitosha Mts, 1900–2800 m alt3.

General distribution


Beauty of a plant

Very beautiful plant due to its large red-violet flowers5.

Discovery of the species

The plant was discovered as new to science by the Czech botanist Josef Velenovski in 1891 from plants collected by him in 1889 near the uppermost springs of the Maritsa River. In the same year the plant was found and collected in Rila by Professor Stefan Georgiev. He also found that the plant is unknown to science and called it Primula bulgarica - ie Bulgarian primrose. Before Georgiev's manuscript was published, he received Velenovski's newly published article "New Plants from Bulgaria", where to his great disappointment he found a description of the new species - ie the Czech scientist was slightly ahead of the Bulgarian. And according to the rules, when describing a new species, the scientist who first publishes the description of the new species has priority and his name is recognized as the discoverer. Having no choice, Georgiev withdrew his manuscript and in the article on the vegetation of Rila accepted the name of the primrose given by Velenovski6.


1 Dimitar Peev, Sonya Tsoneva. 2015. In: Peev, D. et all. (ed.) 2015. Red Data Book of Bulgaria. Vol. 1. BAS & MOEW.

2 Dimitar Peev, Sonya Tsoneva, 2015.

3 Dimitar Peev, Sonya Tsoneva, 2015.

4 Dimitar Peev, Sonya Tsoneva, 2015.

5 K. Metodiev.

6 Станев, Ст. 2006. Звезди гаснат в планината. Изд. "Летера". Пловдив.

Primula deorum на български

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