Tuesday, 29 April 2008

two of us

Here we have two of our best spring flowers: cowslip primula veris and primrose primula vulgaris.
The primrose is the signature flower of the English woodland floor in spring.
Its cousin, the cowslip, is the quintessential flower of the traditional English pasture or hay meadow.
Both can be bought as seed or plants from reputable garden centres - they should never be collected from the wild.
They are both easy to propagate by splitting after the flowers have finished.
They both make excellent garden flowers for those who, like me, prefer the simple forms of our native species to the garish, over-coloured or fussy cultivars that are more commonly used in gardens.
They are both simple flowers and so ideal for providing a food source to early spring insects. Both plants provide larval food for the scarce Duke of Burgundy Fritillary butterfly Hamearis lucina. I've never seen one!
Rarely, they share their genes and produce the false oxlip.

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