Thursday, 10 June 2021

Primroses

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1nGXMuKSGoo7I6EQUKdRUfYXpz3kOi3lT

This month @witch.with.me are hosting a challenge based on #regionalwitchcraft and this week is the prompt “Native Plants”. 

Primrose (Primula vulgaris)

The name primrose comes from the Latin “prima rosa” meaning “first rose”, indicating that spring is generally the time for these beautiful plants to flower, although they sometimes open as early as December in the mildest areas of the U.K.

They’re found across the whole of Britain and Ireland, and are considered a favourite by many, including the many little creatures that depend on them for food, nectar and pollination. They are found in woodlands and by hedgerows and thrive in damp shade. 

There are lots of primrose recipes, but it’s illegal to pick or remove them from the wild as they’re currently protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Folklore surrounding primroses is mainly associated with faeries, and with life cut short.

Hanging primrose flowers outside your house is an invitation to faeries to come in, and touching a rock with a posy of primroses is a key; supposedly opening the doorway to the faerie realms. To receive a blessing from the faeries, primroses should be placed upon the doorstep, and at Beltane primroses and yellow gorse were often lain across the threshold to celebrate the spring and the encroaching summer. That said, as much energy has been spent trying to protect against faeries over the years as attracting them. In the National Folklore Collection in University College, Dublin, there can be found a piece of verse relating to Beltane and faeries:

“Guard the house with a string of primroses
on the first three days of May.
The fairies are said not to be able
to pass over or under this string.”

In Flora Britannica, Richard Mabel notes that in Victorian times it was common to plant primroses on the graves of children. There are definitely primroses dotted about on this cemetery, but I’m not sure if they correspond.

There are other customs related to death and primroses, meaning they provoke a similar feeling to blossom for me: they are representative of the ephemeral nature of life. 💚

Regional Witchcraft #witchwithme
June 7-13: Native Plants

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