Saturday, April 27

First Rose?

Prima Rosa is Latin for 'first rose' and is where the name primrose comes from. Obviously just like the Christmas rose, Lenten rose, rock rose etc. primroses are not really roses.  
I love primroses, especially the native ones which like our English bluebell has suffered from years of having been picked for posies. Picking the flowers meant that the plants didn't seed themselves causing the wild stock to diminish.

I'm not alone in my love of our native primrose. I know many fellow bloggers have also said that this is one of their favourite flowers and we are in good company as Queen Victoria and one of her prime ministers - Disraeli  - loved them too. Victoria sent a wreath of primroses to Disraeli's funeral. Darwin was also fascinated by the primrose as it has developed a very clever way of ensuring that flowers are cross pollinated.

There are two types of primrose flower. Some plants have pin-eyed flowers.
In these flowers the stigma - the female part of the flower - is prominent and the anthers - the male parts - that produce the pollen are deeper inside the cup of petals.
The thrum-eyed flowers are the opposite way round so that the stigma is lower inside the flower and the pollen producing anthers are more prominent. 
This way the different types of flower can pollinate one another but can't pollinate the same type of flower which means that plants don't pass on their failings to their offspring.
We have a whole row of primroses on the allotment plot which I grew from seed and planted in what I thought was a similar position to their preferred hedgerow. These are shaded in summer when the surrounding plants are in full leaf.
Several years ago managed to raise about six plants from a packet of bought in seed but have found by far the best way to raise new plants is to sow fresh seed collected from plants and sown straight away. As seeds shouldn't be collected from wild plants my seed came from the few plants that I started with. Fortunately I must have had both pin and thrum eyed versions as I raised dozens of young plants.
This year I was planning to raise more plants to add a few more to our garden but I've been saved a job as when tidying up the ground around the primroses planted  on the plot I found plenty self sown seedlings some of which have been potted up to grow on.
The idea is to plant these in the garden under the magnolia tree in the shady area where the hellebores and snowdrops are planted so I can enjoy them from the house window.

Just over a week to the deadline for entries
 Don't forget the competition to win a fire pit - more information here (I do hope you manage to take part as I am looking forward to reading your stories - I'm not judging so I can just enjoy!)


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

26 comments:

  1. Thankyou for this informative post. Like you I love Wild Primroses and never knew that there were the two types until reading this.

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    1. They are lovely aren't they, Sam?

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  2. Interesting! Isn't nature clever? We have masses growing wild at the end of our garden, along with cowslips. They're starting to flower now. I'm hoping I'll be able to save lots of the seed to take with me.

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    1. Maybe you'll get some hybrids, Debbie from the primrose and cowslipcross pollinating - it can happen.

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  3. Sue, I never cease to be amazed by the breadth and depth of your knowledge! I have a big clump of the native primrose, so I'm going to go and see what type they are...
    LATER>>> Pin-eyed.

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  4. How interesting, I didn't know this. I'll be checking my own plants now. If I were going to collect seed, would this mean that I'd need both versions to be successful?

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    1. According to Darwin - and who am I to argue with him - the same types can't pollinate one another but there may be other primroses nearby or you could cheat and take some stamen from one plant and pollinate the other by hand.

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  5. I agree, a very interesting post, which I also didn't know about. I planted some primroses under the trees so I shall have to have a look to see which types I have!

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    1. Maybe you'll have both - I wonder if pinhead plant produce the same type etc. If I take any more seed I'll have to take both a carry out a test

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  6. I so love primroses. Thank you for the lesson; it was very informative. I had an orange one once. The dog ate it.

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    1. At least the flowers are edible, Bonnie so no ill effects. I've seem them used in salads but haven't ever eaten one.

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  7. I can testify to how lovely Sue's plants are having been the fortunate recipient of some extremely fresh seed a couple of years back. It germinated well and hopefully this year I will be able to save seed from the offspring and propagate more.

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    1. Hope that you end up with lots more Bilbo - you can never have too many

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  8. Very interesting post Sue- lovely plants. I am also a fan of cowslips- we saw lots of these on the verges of the M11 yesterday. My grandfather used to make cowslip or oxslip wine- those were the days when they were plentiful enough in the wild to do so! We wouldn't want to do that now- better to wait for Autumn and sloes for gin!

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    1. We have a few cowslips too Jill - must try to get some seed from them

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  9. The path with the primroses looks great! I wish I had so many primroses :) I love it!

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    1. So do i but they do tend to disappear in summer so you need something like a hedgerow bottom

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  10. The only dabblings I've had with Primrose was when I was a child and I'd buy potted ones for my mum for mothers day. I don't have any planted in my garden at all so judging by those gorgeous photos I think I'm going to have to rectify that.
    Thanks for the inspiration Sue

    Linda

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    1. YOu should Linda - I like the cultivated forms but I don't think you can beat the native one - thank's for your competition entry.

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  11. Primroses are one of the things I want to get for my bee plot ao thanks for all the info, ar least I know what to look out for now!! I had no idea they had such differetn flowers!!

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    1. Are you leaving the grass to grow naturally on part of your bee plot Tanya?

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  12. First to rise(?) we had to have a clump of primroses in our garden. They have lasted so long this year (due to the protracted spring) but after months the flowers seem to have just disappeared overnight. I've got some poached egg plants to make up for that later...

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    1. I see what you mean Mal but 'to rise' in Latin is 'exorior'. Rosa definitely translates as the flower rose!

      Some flowers certainly have a extended season this year or hellebores are still flowering and have been for months now.

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  13. Snap! Mil and Fil brought three pots of primroses up with them this visit, which I plan to divide and plant around in front and back garden, and then grow yet more from green seed for the grass. I won't be lucky enough to get self seeded ones this year, but hopefully in years to come! I will try to do the same with the lovely deep pink drumstick primula, as it is the only one that survived a job lot of plug plants. I just didn't water the enough :-(

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    1. I used to have purple pink and white drumsticks, Janet but they disappeared!

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