Primrose, May Spink
Height: 6" (15cm) Flowering Time: Spring Flower Colour: Yellow ____________________________________
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons) Superorder: Dilleniidae (Dillenia Superorder) Order: Primulales (Primrose Order) Family: Primulaceae (Primrose Family) Genus: Primula (Primrose) Species: vulgaris (common) ____________________________________
Primula vulgaris is the primrose of the English countryside, the essence of spring for many people. It is a hardy perennial, preferring shady or sheltered conditions, but able to withstand dry soil, growing naturally as it does in woodland or hedgerows. These days, when so many of its natural habitats are gone, it is also found growing happily on motorway embankments, forming spreading colonies.
Plants form a dense rosette of large, crinkled, deep green leaves with prominent midribs, and in spring soft yellow flowers with deeper eyes are borne singly on pink stems. When you look closely at the individual flowers, you can see that there are two different arrangements: in some flowers, the round stigma is visible in the throat of the flower. These are called 'pin-eyed' flowers. Sometimes, the clusters of stamens are visible. These flowers are called 'thrum-eyed'.
Primula vulgaris has been used in traditional medicine as a remedy for muscular cramps, headaches and as a sedative. It was mentioned by Pliny as a remedy for rheumatism.
Whilst the natural colour of a primrose is, obviously, primrose yellow, garden hybrids are also available in almost every colour.
Harvesting and Growing from Seed:
Seed Pod The seed pod is a ball inside the calyx.
Seed The seeds are brown balls. There are several seeds in a seedpod.
Seedling The seedling has crinkled leaves.
(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)
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