I love these flowers I especially like the pale ones. The are one of the first plants growing in Spring, along with the Snopdrops and Crocus blooms. It is said that these flowers have always been popular in England. As signs of Spring how could they not be?
There are several alternate names for the Primrose, St. Peter’s Keys, or Our Lady’s Keys being two. Cowslip another.
The legend of St. Peter and the Primrose is quite a sweet one. The heavenly guardian was taking a nap, I suppose at some time he must, but he was woken by a noise at the back door of heaven. When he went to investigate some how in his aggitation he dropped his set of keys. They tumbled down to earth where magically they transformed to a beautiful plant full of pale lemon flowers, the Primrose. The old boy liked the flowers so much he let them stay. No mention is made of what he did to get a new set of keys for heaven but I guess he must have.
The Primrose is also known as the Fairy Flower, Fairy Basin or Fairy Cup. As fairies are said to shelter under the bell like blossoms, use them as basins or very large cups. Primrose folklore says the plant offers the ability to let people see fairies. If you touch a fairy rock with the right number of Primroses in a posy you will be shown the way to fairyland. The wrong number would lead to certain doom. A German legend tells of a little girl who found a doorway covered in flowers and touched it with a Primrose – it opened up into an enchanted castle.
In the past children used to eat the flowers to try to see fairies. Posies would be left on doorsteps so that fairies would bless the house and the people in it. As well, scatter Primroses outside doors to keep fairies away as they won’t cross this barrier. Don’t let Primroses die as they are popular with fairies. Carry a Primrose flower and peer over the petals in order to see fairies.
Legend also say Primroses sprang from the body of Paralisos (the Primrose’s ancient name) after he died of a broken heart. People thought it lucky to bring 13 Primroses indoors but unlucky to bring in only 1.
The Primrose has associations with the Goddess Freya and is said to open the door to her hall. This may be because the plant is also a sedative.
Victorians used to plant Primroses on the graves of children, and herbalists used to use the root to make an expectorant. If you keep chickens and see a single primrose, dance round it three times in order to avert ill omens – otherwise a single Primrose will lead to bad egg laying.
Hundreds of years ago, these plants were grown for their medicinal and sweetening qualities, for example, it was believed that stem juice rubbed onto the face removed spots!
Thanks for reading.