Sunday 14 February 2010

Today’s Flowers #80 Primroses

The primrose,(Primula vulgaris) one of Great Britain's native plants, is an herbaceous perennial that flowers in early Spring. It is one of the earliest Spring flowers in much of Europe.
I love primroses. My favourites are the wild yellow primroses that grow on roadside banks and in damp woodlands. The primroses in these photographs are cultivated plants and a much deeper, orange-yellow than their wild cousins.

The name Primrose comes from the Old French 'primerose' or mediaeval Latin 'prima rosa' meaning 'first rose'.

Pin flower on the left, thrum flower on the right
Individual plants carry either 'pin' flowers, where the style is prominent, or 'thrum' flowers in which the stamens are prominent. Pin to pin and thrum to thrum pollination is doomed to failure as fertilisation can only take place between pin and thrum flowers.
It is an offence in the UK under the 'Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981' to pick the flowers or remove wild primrose plants. It is illegal in many other countries too.
Flowers and leaves are edible in salads - the flavour ranges from mild to bitter. The leaves can also be used to make an infusion of tea.Young flowers can be fermented to produce primrose wine.

The primrose was Benjamin Disraeli's favourite flower and the Primrose League, an organisation founded to spread Conservative principles, was named to commemorate this.The organisation was founded in 1883 and remained active until the mid-1990s. It was finally wound up in December 2004. Whether this was because it had achieved its aims or because all hope had been abandoned is not known!   
Thank you to the 'Today's Flowers' team for organising and hosting this meme. To see more beautiful blooms around the world please click here.


  1. Your beautiful primroses brighten my dull day.
    Always have a few plants in our house. When spring arrives I can plant them in the garden.
    Thanks, Gisela

  2. Simply beautiful! Happy Valentines Day!

  3. Janice: I can't see that name without thinking of the Beetles, wonderful photos.

  4. Your primroses are a delightful touch of color on this snowy day of ours. Thank you for sharing such lovely photos, and thank you also for leaving a comment when I was having publishing difficulties. You are so right!

  5. Very pretty ... and I learned some new things too! Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs and blessings,
    Small Reflections

  6. Flowers brighten up the winter up north, I know that's the case in Belgium where we visit every year. Its green all year round here in Florida, with flowers. That's the first thing everyone comments when they visit ... that and the warmth.

  7. I didn't expect to learn about the sex life of a primrose today. I'll make sure and check mine when they flower. Your bright flowers brighten a winter day.

  8. Thanks for your lovely photos and the great history on the primrose in the UK. Here in Arizona we have wild desert primroses which are white and which are I believe called Mexican primroses. They should be blooming here soon so I'll try to get a pic of them.

  9. that last image is stunning!!

    thank you so much for your kind comment about Mia

  10. Thank you all for your comments :-)

  11. Lovely primroses. I knew the native ones are yellow but I'm surprised to see a deep yellow version too. Ah, "cultivated" explains the colour.


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