Monday, February 28, 2011

Myths, Folklore & Symbolism: Primrose

Primrose

"It is a perennial herb of the genus Primula (from Latin primus; originally in the name primula veris, firstling of spring). The primrose is a spring flower primarily of the northern temperate zone; it (usually) has yellow umbels on stocky stems. Among the Germanic tries, it was sacred to Freya. In the Middle Ages it was considered a medicinal and magical plant, thought to be particularly effective in 'unlocking' hidden treasures. It is a symbol of spring, since it ushers in spring as the 'first' flower; seeing the primrose drives away melancholy thoughts of winter." (Herder)

"Wanton pleasure - as in Ophelia's warning to her brother not to tread 'the primrose path of dalliance' (Shakespeare's Hamlet, 1:3). This early budding perennial was a European emblem of youth, linked to the 'little people' of Celtic folklore." (Tresidder)

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