The Primrose - Herald of Spring
I am very fond of the primrose (Latin - prima rosa - first rose of the year) a flower which heralds the coming of spring. I know they come in a wide range of bright colours, but for me, the pale yellow primrose is the one I prefer. The bright light when I took these photos makes them look white when they are in fact the palest of lemon.
The primrose is a vital nectar plant in early spring and is pollinated by a range of insects, apparently, particularly the long-tongued Brimstone Butterfly, fresh out of hibernation.
Did you know that April 19th is Primrose Day. This is the anniversary of the death of the former Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. The primrose was his favourite flower and Queen Victoria sent him bunches on a regular basis - so the story goes. According to tradition primrose flowers are laid at his statue by Westminster Abbey on this date every year.
Today I visited a garden centre and they had a whole section full of pale yellow primroses, it looked stunning, and on the bargain shelf they had a pack of six plants for £1.50 - and yes, you've guessed it - I snapped them up. They are easy to split into several plants when they have finished flowering, so my spring border will hopefully be a mass of of these beautifully simple blooms in a few years time.
The primrose was also used in ancient cookery as the chief ingredient of Primrose Pottage, another old dish had rice, almonds, honey, saffron and ground primrose flowers.
|The Primrose Fairy|
O fairest flower
no sooner blown but blasten
soft, silken primrose