Botanical Name: Primula incana
Other Names: Silver Primrose
North American perennial with foliage that is in the form of a small rosette of tiny bright green leaves reminiscent of fresh lettuce, 1 inch tall. The flower buds and supporting stalks are 4 inches long. These stalks are covered in a ‘farina’, a fine powdery coating. This compliments the flat topped clusters of pale lilac flowers, with a yellow eye. There can be as many as 12 individual flowers within each cluster, and each plant has multiple stalks, growing up to 16 inches.
Like most members of the primrose family, they favour moist ground. This species does not enjoy being saturated, and grows on the edges of our grass runway.
The word primula is derived from a Latin word primus, meaning first, referring to that fact that it is an early spring flower. Incanais from the Latin incanus meaning hoary, light gray.
Mealy primrose has had no medicinal, food or general value historically.
Primulas, as a family are highly prized in the horticultural world. However, this species does not have any showy attributes for it to be exploited for commercial gain. It is classed as an endangered species in some of the Lower 48 States due to agriculture and human destruction of its habitat.