April 16, 2010

La Prima Rosa - The Common Primrose

Primula vulgaris    The Common Primrose
The common yellow Primrose, or Prima Rosa ( early rose) , the early medievil latin name from which the Primose get's it's name, is one of the first wild flowers in much of Europe. These Primula vulgaris plants in my garden are seed grown plants that I had sown last winter ( winter 2008-09) and which I grew all summer last year, transplanting them in the autumn where they settled in for their first winter out-of-doors. This spring, an unusually early and wet one, has coaxed them into bloom about 3 weeks earlier than their more typical May 1st period of bloom.

Primula vulgaris is very easy from seed, and I also buy seed for this species from Jelitto seed, since every year it sprouts so well, and I have loads of plants to plant throughout the garden. This is the parent of the primrose one sees sold in Supermarkets in harsh colors, but the wild form is pale, primrose yellow, with forma available in pink ( P. vulgaris subsp. sibthorpii), which are rather unique yet seem to spread well in New England gardens.

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