Gardening » Commonly flora of UAE: Arabian Primrose

Commonly flora of UAE: Arabian Primrose

Primrose2 jpgScientific Name: Arnebia Hispidissima

Arabic Name: Al Hamra

Flowers: December to May

Type: Plant, Herb, Borage



Abundant on shallow sandy soil plains between low dunes in all habitat types except saline areas. 


Botanical Description

Small annual or biennial erect herb up to 30cm high, covered with bristly white hairs; roots red to dark brown. Stems stiff, branched near the base.



Small, yellow in colour, densely arranged in one side curved inflorescence, nearly sessile, corollas hairy, with a tube up to 1cm long, petals rounded.


Leaves grey–green, narrowly linear to 8cm long, acute, without a stalk, alternate with pointed or slightly rounded tips



Glossy black, small with four nutlets.



Very common in the UAE, especially in the northern emirates and north east part of Abu Dhabi emirate. Globally the plant occurs from northern tropical Africa through Egypt, North India and Pakistan; in Africa it has been recorded from northern Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Sudan. 



Dye from roots is used as a cosmetic (Bedouin girls used it as cosmetic rouge.

The dye is also used to colour clothes and the body; in some countries the plant is grazed by sheep.

Plants boiled in water with sugar to treat all fevers, including malaria; in Indian tradition, root extracts are used to treat ulcers, throat complaints, heart problems and headache.

Extracts from the whole plant used as a stimulant, tonic, diuretic, and expectorant.


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