Montag, 9. April 2012

Plant of the Day (April 9th, 2012) - Primula elatior (L.) Hill.

It's spring and many plants start to bloom. So, today's “Plant of the Day” isn't a conifer but a species with a coloured flower. This species is Primula elatior (L.) Hill. from the Primulaceae family. In the German language, this plant is best known as “Hohe Schlüsselblume” while an English name is “True oxlip”

P. elatior - Habitus

It's a herb with an maximum height of 30 centimetres (11.75 inches). The stalk grows upright, while the green leaves are arranged in a rosette. They have a wrinkled surface and a irregular serrated margin. Both sides of the leaves are hairy.

P. elatior - Flowers

The inflorescence of P. elatior is a nodding, one-sided umbel. The fused sepals are green, while the also petals are yellow to golden-yellow.
They are also grown together and form a long funnel with the nectar at the ground. Because of this, the main pollinators of P. elatior are bumblebees and butterflies, that can reach the nectar with their long proboscis.
Flowering time is between March and May and the fruits are capsules.

P. elatior - rosette

P. elatior is native to Europe and Eurasia, where it grows on fresh, nutrient-rich soils at shady places (mostly in the Mountainous regions, rare in the lowlands). You can find it e. g. in floodplain forests, ravine forests and mountain meadows. It's also an indicator for loam within the soil.

Typical ingredients of the roots are Terpenes, Saponins and Glycosides. So, root extract was used to cure cough.

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