Saturday, 10 April 2010

native primrose

At last our native primroses (primula vulgaris) are in full flower!

Our native primrose has been as late any flower this spring. At least a month behind last year, we are used to primroses flowering throughout mild winters and being amongst the first to flower in the spring. At last, it is flowering on the allotment.

I cultivate our native primrose, splitting in June and transplanting seedlings later in the season. There are many primrose cultivars with which they interbreed. Although these hybrids make interesting flowers, my preference is for the simple yellow and white of our native. I compost any colour variations as soon as I see them.

The cold winter may have killed many bumble bee queens. They are coming out from hibernation into the pale spring sunshine and need food. Early flowers like primrose are vital to early flying insects like bumble bees who need a nectar source as they emerge to find nesting sites.

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