10" x 13"
"This is the time when there is a quiet stirring at the root of Spring. It will be some time yet before we see it plainly, but we know it is there; and it is probably more than imagination that there is a quickening in the willows and the osiers that is like a promise on a sunny afternoon." (Hal Borland, "Sundial of the Seasons."
And isn't that so, right now?! Temperatures see-sawing from freezing to short-sleeve weather, the sunlight lasting a bit more each day, the smell of damp soil as winter begins her annual thaw. And here and there spots of color that pop through the woodland litter to let us know, spring is really coming.
Primula vulgaris is an herbacious perennial that grows no taller than 6". It likes light shade and is one of the earliest spring flowers. Bees, birds and butterflies like the plant, and primroses prefer constantly moist soil in order to thrive. The name 'primrose' is said to come from the French or early Latin - ' prima rosa' - meaning first rose. In favorable conditions, it can be used as a groundcover.
I rarely see this plant in my woodland hauntings, but there are tons of species to choose from that have been commercialized by our fine horticulturalists. As a wildfood enthusiast, I have tasted a variety of spring greens, but never having found this growing in any of my wilds, I can't confirm it's reputation for having edible leaves (reported to taste like lettuce) and flowers (said to make a decent wine).
What I do love about this white variety, is how the delicate white flowers contrast against rumply green leaves and how the plant is set along the mottled woodland floor.
We've rain for weather today with temps warming and the sun coming in and out for a visit throughout the week. I'm sure I'll be seeing many more signs of spring in my travels ... it seems to be an early arrival along with the spring fever that has me dreaming of gardens, and flowers, and butterflies.
Have a great week!
Monday, February 27, 2012
Primrose - Flower of the Woodland
10" x 13"