Cowslips by the roadside
Spring fixations

Primroses in the cemetery

Primroses, Primula vulgaris, in a Northamptonshire cemetery. Image © After Cowslips by the roadside, it’s primroses in the cemetery.

Here in this cemetery in Northamptonshire which has been in use since the 1800s, wild primroses, Primula vulgaris, have slowly moved from the nearby woods down amongst the ancient graves.

A sympathetic mowing regime has ensured that they thrive and spread, and a stern sign at the gate banning plastic flowers encourages visitors to bring fresh flowers and pot plants to place on the graves – including coloured primroses and polyanthus from nearby nurseries.

These occasionally hybridise with the wild primroses resulting in a scattering of primroses in pink shades and a few plants with their flowers held polyanthus-style on tall stems.

Fortunately, genes from the prolific wild primroses are dominant so this extraordinary proliferation of one of Britain’s favourite wild flowers continues almost untainted.