Androsace vitaliana (L.) Lapeyr.

Many plant hunters make their way to the Gornergrat to see the Golden Primrose in the spring. Rotenboden is one of the best places to see complete carpets of “blossoming gold”.   The name is a little deceptive because the flowers are not golden nor is the species a real primrose (genus Primula). Botanists disagreed for a long time whether Golden Primrose should be placed with primrose or in its own genus, and today they are assigned to the Androsace genus. The tiny leaves of this species are arranged in rosettes and are covered with star-shaped hairs on the underside and at the edge, which makes the leaf margin distinctively white. 

Facts and Figures

The pretty yellow flowers are mainly pollinated by butterflies. When the clumps of Golden Primrose, which sometimes contain hundreds of flowers, are in full bloom, they are real eye-catchers – but once the flowers have faded, you hardly notice them at all. Like many members of the primrose family, the Golden Primrose blooms early in the year. However, if the summer is long enough, this species often blooms in September and October.  


In Switzerland, the species only grows in Valais and in a few places in northern Ticino. It likes to grow on rather poor and low-calcareous soils with plenty of sunlight. The Gornergrat ridge offers ideal conditions for the Golden Primrose, which is why it can be found here in large quantities.   more information

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