Primrose (Primula vulgaris)

 

Collins, 184; Reader's Digest

The herald of the arrival of spring.  This low hairy perennial has beautiful welcoming pale yellow flowers on long hairy stalks and flowers from March until May.  It is widely distributed amongst our woods and verges, especially in School Lane, Bodsham.  The plants flowering heralds warmer days.  The plant is much less common than it used to be especially in urban areas due to over-picking.  Since the flowers bloom when there are few insects about, the flowers are often not pollinated – in the Winter’s Tale Shakespeare wrote of “pale primroses that die unmarried”.  Those plants which are pollinated produce sticky seeds and ants are attracted to the food stored in the seeds and carry them off, so disbursing them. 

 The plant has been used as a remedy for gout and rheumatism.