In August we went looking for the Scottish Primrose, Primula scotica. It’s one of the few plants which grows in Scotland and nowhere else. Forget the primroses you’re used to; these are nothing like them.
Primroses aren’t prim, they’re prime, or first. They’re Prime Roses because they flower in spring. Scottish Primroses, however, flower from May to July, but they’re having a second flush in August in Westray.
I’ve been in search of them here before:
It takes two trips and an age of scouring the ground before we see our first. Scottish Primroses are tiny. Just look at this delicate rosette compared to my fingertips.
It’s that greyish rosette which eventually reveals them to you as you ‘get your eye in’, and so begin to see them at your feet and all around you. Scottish Primrose flowers are a pinkish purple which never, ever looks right in photographs. I suspect the sensitivity of digital sensors and human eyes is different. The colour in photographs of them always looks unnaturally super-saturated. Maybe they’re very bright in ultra-violet?
I’ve never seen an insect on one yet, although that may be because of the wind rather than their attractiveness.
They’re beautiful, precious and intriguing little plants. Here’s one with its seed pods developing.
I’m hoping for a lot more Scottish Primroses in my future.
That will be lovely.