Tuesday, 26 April 2011


We came across a wonderful bank of pale yellow flowers whilst out walking near the Cerne Abbas Giant - it was a Beech copse with a truely magical feel to it. What a pleasure and delight it is to collect these delicate spring flowers and leaves. They tasted sweet with bitter, drying undertones and a hint of bitter at the end but overriding the taste for me was perfume -delicious delicate anti infectious perfume. As we ate the flowers and new leaves I feel extremely connected to the folks who had harvested these primroses through the ages past and how before the advent of supershops we would have eaten these as our salad leaves intermixed with dandelions, sorrel, rocket and a host of other -we still can -they grow plentifully, calling to us to eat them many spray free and it is healing experience in itself to harvest them.

Primula vulgaris is the primrose of the English countryside, the essence of spring for many people. It is a hardy perennial, preferring shady or sheltered conditions, but able to withstand dry soil, growing naturally as it does in woodland or hedgerows. These days, when so many of its natural habitats are gone, it is also found growing happily on motorway embankments, forming spreading colonies.

Plants form a dense rosette of large, crinkled, deep green leaves with prominent midribs, and in spring soft yellow flowers with deeper eyes are borne singly on pink stems. When you look closely at the individual flowers, you can see that there are two different arrangements: in some flowers, the round stigma is visible in the throat of the flower. These are called 'pin-eyed' flowers. Sometimes, the clusters of stamens are visible. These flowers are called 'thrum-eyed'. 

This is clever natures way to ensure cross-fertilization through pollunation by visiting insects.

Primula vulgaris has been used in traditional medicine as a remedy for muscular cramps, headaches and as a sedative. It was mentioned by Pliny as a remedy for rheumatism. It is definitely a cooling remedy and fantastic for the lungs and any infection of the lungs or mucous membranes -we are gonna dry them all out next to the fire and use them in a mix in our Breath easy tea.......

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