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Wild Primrose

Wild Primrose

Wild Primrose

In appropriate conditions, P. vulgaris can cover the ground in open woods and shaded hedgerows. It is found mainly by streams, under bushes, in orchards and clear, moist deciduous forests. Occasionally it also appears in meadows. In Central Europe plants thrive best on nutrient-rich, but lime-poor, humus-rich, loose and often stony loam soils in winter-mild situations. In more populated areas it has sometimes suffered from over-collection and theft so that few natural displays of primroses in abundance can now be found. However it is common on motorway verges and railway embankments where human intervention is restricted. To prevent excessive damage to the species, picking of primroses or the removal of primrose plants from the wild is illegal in many countries, e.g. the UK Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Section 13, part 1b).

Primrose

Both flowers and leaves are edible, the flavour ranging between mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens. The leaves can be cooked in soup but preferably with other plants because they are sometimes a little strong. The leaves can also be used for tea, and the young flowers can be made into primrose wine. In the past the whole plant and especially the root were considered to have analgesic, anti-spasmodic, diuretic and expectorant properties. It contains small amounts of saponins, and was given for colds.Not to be confused with: oxlip (Primula elatior) and cowslip (Primula veris) which are both similar species. However, the flowers of oxlip droop to one side in the same direction. Cowslip flowers form in clusters and are usually bell-shaped and a darker orange-yellow. Primrose and cowslip also hybridise to make Primula veris x vulgaris which grows taller than primrose. There are also several cultivated varieties of primrose, some of which have escaped from gardens, which are now found in the wild.

A hardy little plant, the Primrose can flower from as early as December in mild years, appearing all the way through the spring until May. It favours woodland clearings, hedgerows and grassland habitats, and sometimes even gardens. Primroses are the foodplant of the caterpillars of the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly, which is a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. Since Victorian times, April 19th has been known as 'Primrose Day' in honour of the late Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli; Primroses, his favourite flowers, are placed at his statue in Westminster Abbey and his grave at Hughenden in Buckinghamshire.or occasionally common primrose or English primrose. In appropriate conditions, the wild primrose can cover the ground in open woods and shaded hedgerows. It is found mainly by streams, under bushes, in orchards and clear, moist deciduous forests. Occasionally it also appears in meadows. Both flowers and leaves are edible, the flavour ranging between mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens. The leaves can be cooked in soup but preferably with other plants because they are sometimes a little strong. The leaves can also be used for tea, and the young flowers can be made into primrose wine. (Source: www.naturescape.co.uk)

 

 

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