The Evening Primrose flower (Oenothera biennis) preparing to open. As it’s name suggests the flower opens in the evening and by the following morning is already starting to shrivel up. It is said to have a number of medicinal properties. I believe in some parts of the world this is considered a weed, but here in the UK, although it does self-seed, it is never enough to be a nuisance.
This is probably my favourite British wild flower. It takes me right back to my childhood when they were a common sight in fields and we used to pick them by the handful and stuff them into jam jars filled with water. I grow these from seed many years ago and they have happily spread themselves around the garden.
When cowslips and primroses grow in close proximity to one another, they cross pollinate to produce an interesting variation called a false oxlip – in a true oxlip, the flowers droop to one side.
Spotted the first ladybird of the year today – a Seven spot ladybird. We hardly saw any last year and as a result had so many aphids on the runner beans. I do hope this little lady survives and has lots of babies to eat the aphids!
The wild primrose is pale yellow with a darker yellow centre and is commonly found on banks and in woodland clearings. It’s name means ‘first rose’ and is also known as ‘Easter Rose’, although it is not a member of the rose family. When you see it flowering, it is a sure sign that spring is on the way. The flowers are edible. Easy to grow and will self seed. Perennial, flowers March-April
The brightly coloured primroses sold in garden centres are cultivars and are treated as annuals.