Most people are familiar with Primrose as a common ornamental plant in gardens. The flower is delicate and cheerful. What most people don’t know is it’s also quite magickal. Primrose is said to open spiritual doorways, and is in fact called St. Peter’s keys or the keys of Mary. In Irleand these flowers are prevalent throughout the spring. In Irish Gaelic it’s sabhaircín which is pronounced ( sour-keen.) The blog Irish American Mom tells us “The primrose may be a small blossom, but in days gone by it was considered a symbol of safety and protection. Primroses placed on a doorstep were said to encourage the faeries to bless the house and all who lived there…. In rural Ireland in days gone by the butter making season began in May. To promote good milk production in their cows, our farming forebears rubbed primroses on their cows’ udders at Bealtaine (Beltane/May Day). Primroses scattered on the doorstep supposedly protected the butter from thieving faeries.”
Magickally primrose is said to be associated with the goddesses Freya, Flora, Diana and Bast. Bathing in the herb is said to make one more attractive and beautiful. In the Victorian language of flowers this beauty was said to mean ” I can’t live without you.” But there are many different varieties of the plant, and in the Victorian language of flowers evening primrose is said to mean “fickleness.” So make sure which one you have in order to avoid confusion.
Then there is a long history of primrose being used as a medical and herbal remedy. Popular herbalist Nicholas Culpeper recommended primrose root juice “snuffed up the nose” for nervous disorders. He then adds that it “occasions violent sneezing” and should only be taken in small doses. Culpeper also said dried primrose root could be used as an emetic. It goes without saying proceed with caution.
Scientific Name: Primula vulgaris
Also called : Fairy cup, butter rose, St. Peter’s keys
Physical characteristics: Grow in small clumps no more than 12 inches wide or high.
Cultivation tips: Prefer partial shade, and well drained fertile soil. So delicate many gardeners treat them like an annual.
Magickal properties : love, luck, and fairy magick.
To learn more about herbs please check out the other posts in our Herbal Magick series. Thanks for reading, and as always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to share, share, share.