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Now that Christmas and New Year are over we can look forward to spring.  One of my favourite spring flowers is the Primrose, it always lifts the spirits to see it, even from the car its pale yellow is unmistakeable.  However, not all primroses are this lovely shade.  The Yorkshire Dales has the Bird’s -eye Primrose (Primula farinosa), which is a beautiful pale pink with a yellow eye. 


The north coast of Scotland boasts its very own primrose, Primula Scotica, which I was lucky enough to see this summer in Caithness.  This particular species is endemic to Scotland growing only on the north coast and on Orkney.  It is very specific in its requirements and grows on calcareous sand dunes or machair, coastal limestones and maritime heath.  It needs careful management of its habitat, not too much or too little grazing, to flourish.  I was thrilled to find it and even accosted some total strangers to point it out.  Later in the week we found lots more, many less than three inches tall and a rich deep pink.  The wild flowers of this northern coast are certainly worth the trip.

Christine Walsh


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