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Flowers that have been traditionally linked to the month of February take many forms. From little delicate Violets to tall and structural Iris, there are several flower symbols for the month of February.
One of these flowers in particular has a special place in my heart and is the February flower that I have chosen to explore here, the Primrose.
Primroses have been named as one of Februarys birth flowers since way back in Norse Mythology which occurred around the 13th century.
They are endemic to the UK, western and southern Europe and are also found in northwest Africa, and parts of southwest Asia.
Primroses are found in the Primulaceae family in the genus Primula.
There are around 500 species of Primula worldwide, but I’ll be focusing on the common wildflower Primula vulgaris and Primula scotica the Scottish primrose.
Primroses are perennial flowering plants that have more-or-less evergreen leaves. Primula vulgaris , also known as the common Primrose, has beautiful pale-yellow flowers with a darker yellow centre.
On the other hand, the Scottish Primrose, Primula scotica, has purple flowers with a yellow centre as shown above.
Read on to find out more about these beautiful flowers, their meanings and pretty primrose gift ideas perfect for February birthdays.
All Primrose flowers are actinomorphic (star shaped) with 5 notched petals that grow out from the base of the leaf rosette on upright stalks.
In Latin, primrose translates to “first rose” and refers to the fact that they are early flowering plants, flowering in early Spring from February to April in the Northern Hemisphere. They can even be seen sometimes flowering from December in mild and sheltered spots.
Primroses are clump forming plants which make them perfect for the cottage garden or woodland garden aesthetic. They are easy to propagate, grown by seed or by splitting mature plants and they are suitable for any soil type including clay and sand.
If you spot Primroses growing when you are out and about in wooded areas, then it may be a sign that the woodland you are in is more special than you first thought. Primroses are known as ancient-woodland-indicator plants as they are commonly found growing wild in rare habitats.
Primrose Flower Meanings
There are many different meanings that have been associated with Primroses over time. Patience, kindness and gentleness are all beautiful meanings that are related to the Primrose and some that see when looking at their delicate flowers. Giving a Primrose as a gift to a new mother for instance, would be a lovely way to pass on these sentiments to both the new mum and February baby.
Other meanings that are associated with Primroses are opening, cleansing and light. These meanings can all be linked to Spring, or more so the anticipation of Springs arrival. We often link new beginnings and fresh starts with Spring, so the sight of a Primrose is like an offering, that we are ready for the start of a new season and the new light that it brings.
In Irish folklore, keeping primroses by doorway, either planted in borders or kept in pots, is said to keep the home protected from fairies.
A Primrose Poem
‘The Primrose opens wide in Spring;
Her scent is sweet and good:
It smells of every happy thing
In sunny lane and wood
I have not half the skill to sing
And praise her as I should.
She’s dear to folk throughout the land;
In her is nothing mean:
She freely spreads on every hand
Her petals pale and clean.
And though she’s neither proud nor grand,
She is the Country Queen.’
Mary Cicely Barker – from ‘The Primrose Fairy,’ English Illustrator and artist (1895 – 1973)
Primroses and Pollinators
Primroses are a high value plant when it comes to wildlife. The early flowers provide a vital food source for many early emerging pollinators like the brimstone butterfly, Hairy-footed flower bees and bee-fly.
The Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni, is a moderately large butterfly with pale-yellow leaf-shaped wings. They over winter in shrubs and hanging ivy and emerge in early Spring. They favour damp woodland, hedgerows and large gardens and although they are widespread, they are not very common.
Hairy-footed Flower Bee
The Hairy-footed flower bee, Anthophora plumipes, is one of the early emerging solitary bees. They can be seen between February to June throughout most of England and Wales, and in some parts of Southern Scotland.
Just like other early pollinators they rely heavily on early flowering plants like dead-nettles, comfrey, lungwort and of course Primrose.
The Bee-fly, Bombylius major, is the most common fly within the Bombylius genus. They are given the common name of Bee-fly because of their close resemblance to that of bumblebees. However, bee-flies do not have a sting, nor do they bite or spread disease. They are important early pollinators to many flowers including the pretty Primrose.
Primrose Gift Ideas
If you are looking for a gift for a February birthday or a little Primrose treat for yourself then I've listed a few of my favourite Primrose themed gifts below.
Real Primrose Earrings by AkiMade
These beautiful handmade earrings have been made using real Primrose petals set inside resin in open backed frames. Each pair is completely unique and is made with real pieces of nature.
Evening Primrose Soap
These handcrafted essential oil soaps make great gifts and are all vegan and cruelty free.
Made in small batches from natural ingredients they are good for your skin and gently exfoliating.
Find these an more plant based skincare at MountnGirlEssentials
Primrose Trinket Dish
A sweet little gift for a February birthday or as a little new home or anniversary present. This pretty trinket dish has been printed by hand with a beautiful illustrations of Spring flowers, Primroses, bees. Dishwasher safe.
Find these and more beautiful ceramics at Little Birdy Designs UK
Just like the earrings mentioned above, this pretty necklace has been handmade using real pressed primrose petals. A stunning gift for mothers day, birthdays or even as a gift to a February bride.
Primrose necklace by The Wee Scottish Garden
Ceramic Primrose Flowers
Looking to add Primroses to your home or garden all year round? Then these beautiful handcrafted ceramic Primrose flowers are just the thing.
The frost resistant properties gained through the special production process used to make these ceramic flowers means they are perfect for use in the garden for decorating pots and borders.
Ceramic Primrose flowers by BokretaCeramicFlower
So there we have our February flower of the month, the pretty Primrose. This blog post is part of my Flower of the Month series that I will be sharing through 2021. Take a look at our pervious post January Flower Of The Month here and our March Flower Of The Month here,
Thanks so much for reading,