Monday, 28 April 2008

The Common (or not so common) Primrose

Yesterday was the start of the jazz season at Mountstewart - and what fabulous weather we had for it, the sun shone all day. Dr Em and myself were sitting enjoying the music and the sun until after 6.00 last night. Hope the rest of the season will be just as good. (fingers crossed).

On the way in to the gardens I spotted this bunch of primroses (primevères) and stopped to take a pic - because it has been years since I saw a bunch. I can remember my father taking my sister and myself for a walk in nearby Glencairn on a spring sunday to pick some primroses and bluebells. Everybody did it - and that's why the common primrose is not so common any longer.

Of course once I got into the gardens I discovered more primroses round the base of this tree -

so they are not so uncommon in MountStewart. In the background you can see everybody enjoying the music of Jackie Flavelle and his group. (More of which, later)

According to wikipedia : Primula vulgaris (syn. P. acaulis (L.) Hill) is a species of Primula native to western and southern Europe (from the Faroe Islands and Norway south to Portugal, and east to Germany, Ukraine, the Crimea, and the Balkans), northwest Africa (Algeria), and southwest Asia (Turkey east to Iran). The common name is Primrose, or occasionally Common Primrose or English Primrose to distinguish it from other Primula species also called primroses.

It flowers in early spring, one of the earliest spring flowers in much of Europe, and in appropriate conditions, can cover the ground in open woods.

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. 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).

Oh, and I see that adada has a similar post today - another wee bit of flower power. I don't know if she realises that dandelions are also known as pee (or wet) the beds here and in France. As she says 'simple things always make me smile' (c: