Primula eximia is a charismatic plant with several wide pink flowers on a thick stem that grows in alpine tundra and meadows (it is also the reason behind the name 'Primrose Ridge' (Orth 1971). The stems reach 10-40 cm high, growing from short rhizomes with fibrous roots. The basal leaves are slightly fleshy, broadly oblanceolate, tapering toward the base, and toothed at apex. This basal rosette is often sheathed by persistent dead leaves. P. eximia's flowering stem is thick, leafless, with few to many flowers. Distinguishing it from several other primrose species, plants are initially covered in white farina, but this diminishes with age, except on the calyx. The calyx is narrow, fused with five teeth, and green-black in color. Above the constricted calyx, the corolla tube is white, the five petals magenta to pink and not further divided. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule.
Primula eximia is perennial and flowers early summer in Denali.
Primula eximia is monoecious with bisexual flowers. The genus Primula is typically insect-pollinated, but P. eximia is also self-fertilizing (Carlson et al. 2008). Unlike many species in the genus, arctic primrose has homostylous flowers (styles as the same length as the stamens), which do not prevent self-pollination. Though selfing can often lead to lower fitness, it allows plants to reproduce in absence of pollinators or nearby compatible mates. Fruits are cylindric capsules, carrying 40-60 seeds. P. eximia is hypothesized to be self-compatible lineage derived from the heterostylous P. tschoktschorum, which has an even narrower Beringian range, and is outcompeted by this daughter taxon (Carlson et al. 2008). Seeds do not have any special adaptations, and are dispersed by gravity, wind and water.
Primula eximia is an amphi-Beringian endemic species that is restricted to Alaska, northern Yukon, the Richardson Mountains of Northwest Territory and Chukotka, Russia. In Alaska, P. eximia's range includes interior Alaska and the western coast. In Denali this species occurs in widely scattered localities on the north side of the Alaska Range.
In Denali, arctic primrose is collected at high elevations, with an average altitude of 1253 m. More specimens were found on south-facing slopes than northern-facing slopes, but slopes were typically fairly gentle where the average incline is 9 degrees.