Primrose

PrimrosePrimrose — Primula is a genus of 400-500 species of low-growing herbs in the family Primulaceae. They include primrose, auricula, cowslip and oxlip. Many species are grown for their ornamental flowers. They are native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, south into high altitude tropical mountains in Ethiopia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and are also found in temperate southern South America.

Perennial primulas bloom mostly during the spring; their flowers can be purple, yellow, red, pink, or white. Generally, they prefer filtered sunlight. Many species are adapted to high alpine climates.

Both the common name and scientific name refer to it being the first (prime) “rose” to open in spring.

Primroses are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Silver-ground Carpet.

The genus contains a large assemblage of common perennial garden flowers, generally about 30 to 120 cm (1 to 4 ft) tall, with showy clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers of yellow, white, pink, blue, red, or purple borne at the top of a long stem. The leaves are mostly at ground level and may be wrinkled or smooth in texture. Primrose seed may not reproduce parental characteristics, and special or diverse varieties are thus obtained by divisions of the root crowns.

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