Primroses: The First Rose of Spring

Did you know that Primroses are one of the first flowers to bloom in Spring?  With very colorful petals surrounding a bright yellow center eye, the word Primrose literally mean, "first rose."

According to Norse mythology, the primrose is the sacred flower of Freya, goddess of love. In rituals honoring Freya, worshippers would lay primrose flowers on an alter dedicated to her.   The Celts believed the primrose held the keys to Heaven while in other Lore, the primrose represents women with it's petals displaying the various stages in a woman's life, from birth to death.

For those who entertain thoughts of Fairyland, hanging a spray of fresh primroses over a doorway creates an invitation for fairies to enter your home while scattering primroses outside of your door will keep fairies away.  There is also a German legend of a little girl who discovered a doorway, covered in various flowers, and when she touched it with a primrose, the door swung wide open and led her to an enchanted fairy castle.

Fairy Tales and Folk Lore aside, the primrose is a beautiful, versatile plant. Edible, it's leaves are used in salads, its flower as a garnish and roots as a tea to treat a variety of ailments. The primrose can be planted outdoors in late winter and early spring.

Primroses grow best in slightly acidic, moist soil with good drainage.  Peat moss, added to the soil before planting, helps the soil retain moisture and allows primrose to thrive. To increase soil nutrient levels, add oak leaves, pine needles or compost.

Grown best in partial shade, as outdoor temperatures reach into the high 80s or 90s, soil will begin to dry out creating stress for primroses. Be sure to check soil moisture during this time.

Primroses grow well in both indoor and outdoor pots, making them a great choice when adding late winter or early spring color.

And, finally, in the United States, the primrose is one of the celebrated Birth Flower for all those born in February. It's meaning conveys modesty, distinction and virtue.

 

 

 

 

 

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