Pretty Primroses

Primrose or Primula vulgaris is often associated with the arrival of spring and can be seen flowering most commonly in open woodland or hedgerows across Britain from February to May but will be most prolific in April. Primrose is a perennial with flowers made up of five notched petals and tufts of soft wrinkled evergreen leaves with a short stem from which the flowers spring out.  The pale yellow flowers are delicately scented, are typically 2-4 cm in diameter and are on long slender pinkish stalks from one stout stem hidden among the leaves. White or pale pink flowers are also often seen in the wild.

The flowers and leaves are both edible with the flavour being somewhere between a mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens. Primrose wine can be made from young flowers and tea from the leaves.

common primrose flower

Benjamin Disraeli’s favourite flower was the primrose and Primrose Day was given its name in honour of this, it is on the 19th of April the anniversary of his death in 1881. Queen Victoria often sent him bunches of primroses from the grounds of Osbourne House or Windsor, and sent a wreath to his funeral. Plantlife the wild flora conservation charity voted the primrose the county flower of Devon in 2002.

 

Primrose Wine

 

To make primrose wine you will need 2 quarts of primrose petals, a gallon of cold water, 3lbs sugar, 1lb wheat, 1lb chopped raisins and 1oz of yeast. To make the wine place the primroses in the water and leave for eight days, before squeezing them out. Then stir in the sugar until it has dissolved and add the raisins and wheat, before sprinkling the yeast on top. Allow to ferment for 28 days before skimming, straining and bottling.