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A rose by any other name...

Today is the vernal or spring equinox - the day when the sun is directly above the equator and the length of day and night are equal (equi means equal, nox means night). The first day of spring, and from now until midsummer's day, the hours of day light will be longer than the hours of darkness.

So it was somewhat suitable that I saw my first primroses yesterday I think - its the first of our common native flowers to bloom, and, to many, a sign of spring. In fact, the name comes from the Latin prima rosa meaning "first rose" of the year (even though its not actually a member of the rose family!). Primroses grow in woodland clearings, hedgebanks, and grasslands preferring places where the soil is damp. Round here the sea braes will soon be carpeted with them! Not only are they a welcome sight to us humans, but they also provide an invaluable early nectar source for insects. In folklore primroses represent eternal love.

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