The microstructure and crystallographic texture in zirconium (Zr702) sheets, initially deformed by 80% cold rolling, are investigated at different stages of the primary recrystallization. Inhomogeneities were observed in the deformed microstructure at different scales down to the submicrometer range. The influence of these inhomogeneities on the local recrystallization mechanisms is discussed. The measurement of the orientation of the new grains shows that the nucleation is definitely not oriented. Since the global texture change is very slight, recrystallization by subgrain growth is probably one of the most important mechanism during the recrystallization process in zirconium.