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Humble primrose beats daffodil TOWELSH hearts.

Byline: Sally Williams Farming Editor sally.williams@walesonline.co.uk

THE delicate and humble primrose which sits in the shade at the feet of towering trees in Welsh woods has beaten the nation's emblem - the daffodil - to become our favourite wildflower in a new survey.

The primrose came out top in a Plantlife survey in Wales, followed by the bluebell in second place and a surprise third favourite, the wood anemone.

Tony Russell, author of Gardens to Visit 2015, said he was surprised to see that the daffodil had been left out in the cold and that wood anemone had made it into the top three.

He said: "Given the fact that the daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) is the national flower of Wales, is widely worn on St David's Day and is always present at Welsh national rugby matches, I am surprised.

"I can understand primroses and bluebells being in the top three, but find it interesting that wood anemones came in at number three - as lovely as they are... perhaps voters did not appreciate that Narcissus pseudonarcissus is also a native plant of Wales.

"Many daffodils you see planted in Welsh towns and cities and along highways are not true natives, but Narcissus pseudonarcissus is."

Crickhowell-based gardening expert Lynne Allbutt said the dominance of woodland flowers in the survey shows that the Welsh nation is getting outdoors and into the heart of the countryside more often than it used to.

"The primrose is gorgeous and it is nice to see such a humble and oldfashioned little flower being chosen over some of the more blousy hybrids.

"The yellow flowers are edible and can be used in salad; they don't really have any nutritional benefits but they are decorative and harmless.

"In the Victorian language of flowers, their meaning is, 'I can't live without you.' "Perhaps it reflects how we as a nation are sentimental.

"It is interesting that daffodils were left out, particularly as the survey appears to have been conducted in spring.

"If it had have been taken in the autumn, maybe we would have seen a very different set of results.

"All of the top three can be seen in woodlands at this time of year and show that we are all getting out and about, rather than just choosing what we see in our gardens."

The primrose was also the favourite in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with the bluebell on top in England, beating the English wild rambling rose which didn't get a mention.

William Shakespeare refers to the primrose in several plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream in which Hermia recalls: "And in the wood, where often you and I "Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie, Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet."

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The primrose has been named Wales' favourite wildflower in a survey. The daffodil, below, failed to make the top three <B

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 10, 2015
Words:481
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