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.......