Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Flower of the day - Wednesday 1st April 2020

Wild primroses - Primula vulgaris ssp vulgaris
Our native Irish primroses are making a fine sight in the bank at the back of the garden just now. Wildlings, they are such a mark of Spring in ditches and woods right across the country, and worthy of a place in any garden.

The proper scientific name for primroses is Primula vulgaris, and our wild ones with pale yellow flowers are a subspecies: Primula vulgaris ssp. vulgaris, native across western and southern Europe. The latin epiphet 'vulgaris' means 'common'. Occasionally, rather muddy, light pink individuals grow wild or in cottage gardens alongside the more usual light yellow variety.
Primula vulgaris ssp. sibthorpii
I also grow another primrose subspecies, Primula vulgaris ssp sibthorpii. This is native to the Balkans and South-west Asia and its flowers vary between a bright light pink and a deep purple. The ones I have are a strong purple and flower much earlier than wild primroses - they began in January, and are now nearly over, with just a few blossoms hanging on.

I am excited that these two subspecies are hybridising in my garden, despite their different flowering times. The hybrids are very vigorous, floriforous, and a strong bright pink. I shall try to propogate them and pass them on to any fellow gardeners who would like them.
My hybrid Primula vulgaris, growing alongside one of its parents, P.vulgaris sibthorpii
I rejoice in the diversity of God's creation!

No comments: