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THE LEGEND OF THE PRIMROSE

At the beginning of spring, nature wakes up. Birds’ songs joyfully fill the air, and in the fields flowers start to bloom. One of the first flowers of the season is the primrose, and its botanical name comes from the Latin primula that means "the first" and indicates that this plant blooms early in spring. Its most common name is primrose, and the wild species with clusters of drooping fragrant yellow flowers is called "cowslip", "key flower" or "herb Peter"

primroses

The legend I'm going to tell you refers to this wild species, whose clusters of flowers resemble strangely a bunch of keys.

According to that legend, Saint Peter – heaven's guardian – was one day having a quiet nap when he heard a noise coming from the back door. Someone was trying to enter heaven through that door instead of the front door of which he kept the keys.

He went to check what was going on, but he was still so sleepy that he dropped his bunch of keys. The keys fell to earth and miraculously took root and bloomed. It was spring time, and those beautiful yellow flowers were the first to bloom in that season – they were called primroses.

As legend says they bloomed from Saint Peter's bunch of keys, in some countries they are also know by other names: "Himmelschlüsselchen" (little keys from heaven) in Germany; "Key flower" and "Herb Peter" in England.

Either fresh or cooked, the flowers and the leaves of the primrose are edible, and in old times the leaves were used for making tea and wine. The whole plant is sedative.

© Dulce Rodrigues

 

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