Although the primrose flower is native to areas of Europe and Asia, they can be found growing in abundance throughout the Midwest and Northwest regions of North America. Primulaceae, or the primrose family, contains around 24 genera of popular garden and wild-growing plants. There are a number of different varieties of primrose flowers; however, most gardeners place them in two distinct groups: the bog and woodland flowers, which prefer moist, rich soil, and the rocky area flowers, which do well in dry areas. These flowers are generally planted for ground cover and may be seen growing as single-headed flowers or in large clusters. Their colors range from the traditional yellow to white, purple, pink, and occasionally even coral hues.
The oils of the primrose flower are commercially cultivated in at least 15 countries. This is understandable as it has become a staple in many supplements. The oils of this flower contain gamma linolenic acid, linoleic acid and essential fatty acids which are thought to positively effect cholesterol and blood pressure, premenstrual symptoms, arthritis and the immune system. The oil is also said to be very effective in other areas as well. For example, rubbing the oils into door frames or dripping it around garden perimeters may help avert bees, as the scent is thought to be a deterrent. Given that the primrose flower is considered one of the symbols of purity, many real life and mythological stories tell of their association with children. For instance, these flowers were frequently planted on the grave sites of small children in Victorian England, as they represented the unchanging innocence of the lost child; in German myth, children were enticed into the halls of the goddess Bertha by way of the pale, delicate flowers. The flower’s myth, however, is not entirely somber. This blossom is associated with the Norse goddess Freya – who is the symbol of youthfulness, refinement, fertility and beauty. They are also seen in Celtic myth which states a patch of these flowers can mark the gateway to the fairy realms.
As well as being a symbol of purity, the primrose flower is said to represent both February births and the month of May. They are also thought to symbolize courage in the face of adversity, devotion, love and renewal. As a gift, these flowers are frequently presented to long time loves, as they are a great way to represent passing through many years of struggle, only to find yourself just as happy as you ever were with your partner.