Last updated on May 22nd, 2023 at 12:04 am

With spring comes primrose. This bright and beautiful flower has a little similarity with the rose. But the primrose is a much appreciated and mentioned flower in the literary world. You will find the mention of primrose in prose and poems. It will be very interesting for you to read about the primrose flower’s meaning.

In the 15th century, primrose was mentioned as a perennial herb with vibrant flowers. The name of this flower comes from Latin and Anglo-French ‘Prima Rosa,’ which means primrose. ‘Prima’ comes from the Latin word ‘primus,’ which means ‘first.’ It has been named so because this flower is the first rose to bloom in spring. This flower is also known as the butter, golden, and early rose.

Primroses are members of the Primulaceae family and belong to the Primula’ genus. Now it is commonly grown as cut flowers or a flowering plant for the garden. But primroses grow natively in some regions of South-west Asia and West and South Europe.

What does the Primrose flower symbolize?

As these flowers blossom early in spring, the primrose flower has been associated with renewal, eternity, and youth throughout history. In the early Victorian era, gifting primroses symbolized young love and the emotions of loving someone.

Primroses are also known as the flower of February in the language of flowers, as they represent youthful innocence, shyness, and joyful love. 

The Victorian era also saw the celebration of 19th April as Primrose Day—a tribute to the late Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. This was to honor his memory, as primroses were his favorite flower. 

Primroses also frequently appear in Shakespeare’s works and represent some form of licentiousness, as seen in Hamlet and Macbeth.

The primrose flower also embodies the various stages of life and rebirth. The petals of this flower signify different stages: birth, life as it is, and finally, death. In some cultures, these beautiful blossoms have also been associated with femininity, womanhood, and grace.

Regarding Norse mythology, primroses symbolize exquisite beauty and are considered sacred flowers. This is primarily because the flower was associated with the Norse goddess Freya who is said to have used primroses to unlock the gates of spring. During rituals, Celtic worshipers would lay these magnificent blooms on the altars dedicated to Freya, honoring the goddess.

All in all, the primrose flower symbolic meanings are:

  • youth
  • renewal
  • optimism
  • femininity
  • long life
  • innocence
  • purity
  • beauty

Meaning of the Primrose flower colors

White color

White primroses represent sadness, remembrance, and mourning in most cultures. Similar to white lilies, these are usually presented to people experiencing the loss of someone, especially at funerals. They usually stand for someone extremely important in one’s life and signify the struggle to adjust to life without them. Some cultures associate purity, good health, and honesty with these graceful blossoms.

Like you give lilies, you can give white primroses to mourning and sad people.

Red color

Like other red flowering plants, red primroses symbolize passion, beauty, ecstasy, and love. The red primrose flower signifies the ardent love and desire for someone they are in love with. Men often give these catchy eye flowers to their beloved ones as a display of their love and affection for them.

If you are desirous of a person and looking for a flower to tell them that you love them, opt for a red primrose.

Blue color

A blue primrose carries a beautiful message. If you want someone to believe in you, you can give them a bunch of blue primroses to tell them ‘trust in me.’

Pink color

A set of classic, delicate blossoms and pink primroses are believed to stand for feminine love and the elegant beauty of a woman. It is considered a very important symbol of womanhood across cultures. 

As a result, the pink primrose flower’s meaning came to be associated with womanhood, beauty, tenderness, femininity, and the soft love of a woman.

Purple color

A purple primrose signifies purity and spiritual healing.

Yellow color

Yellow is a happy and warm color. Like yellow, the yellow primrose flower embodies happiness, new beginnings, and optimism. The brightly colored yellow petals are often likened to the sun’s radiance and the positive energy and warmth that the spring season brings. Yellow primroses serve great as decor and are an ideal gift for ill people to brighten their day.

Orange color

An orange primrose is the messenger of spring. Orange as a color signifies innocence and cheerfulness too.

Interesting facts about the Primrose flowers

  • Primroses have a lot of benefits, and they help in aiding weight loss, headaches, PMS, insomnia, and even congestion.
  • A primrose plant is non-toxic for humans, and they can even consume it. But the flower can be poisonous for animals and cause health issues if they eat it.
  • Young blossoms of primroses can be used in making wine, and dried primroses can be used as tea.
  • According to numerology, a primrose is associated with the number 5. This number and the primrose are associated with grandness, adventures, new points of view, and visions.
  • Primrose is one of February’s birth month flowers.
  • World-renowned wordsmith Shakespeare coined the phrase ‘primrose path,’ typically meaning taking an easy path or a path of indulgence in life.
  • In Celtic culture, the druids carried this flower during rituals. This was because they thought that primroses had the power to drive away evil spirits and could unlock the gates to heaven. Celts also believed in the flower’s purifying and cleansing properties and would use primrose oil before any ceremonials.
  • European folklore extensively talks about how planting primroses can attract fairies and bring good fortunes and blessings from heaven. 
  • These flowers were a popular cure for diseases such as tuberculosis and jaundice for Irish folk. 
  • In Germany, the first young woman to find this flower before Easter was sure to get married that year.
  • Surprisingly, the flowers and the primrose leaves are edible and can be consumed raw. Flowers are even used in the manufacturing of wine.
  • In ancient herbal medicine, primroses were used to make cowslip wine. This was then used as an anesthetic. During the Middle Ages, primrose was said to be used in making love potions.
  • Ancient Greeks used the name ‘flower of the 12 gods’ to describe primroses, as they thought it had the power to cure paralysis.

How to grow Primrose flowers

Growing primrose is simple because these plants are hardy and versatile. Primrose perennials are available at most garden centers and nurseries.

  1. Plant the primrose plants in rich, moist organic matter soil with a slightly acidic pH.
  2. Place the plants in a shady area. Avoid placing them in areas of your garden that receive full sun because they wilt when exposed to high temperatures.
  3. Water thoroughly after planting.
  4. Feed the plants regularly with a half-strength liquid fertilizer.

How to care for Primrose flowers

  1. Water the primrose plants frequently.
  2. Add mulch around the base of your plants to retain moisture.
  3. Fertilize the plants with a liquid fertilizer in the early spring for optimal flower growth.
  4. Remove faded flowers to encourage more blooms.
  5. Remove infected leaves and make sure your plants are getting adequate air circulation.

Best time to gift Primrose flowers

With their soft petals and beautiful, varied colors, it is no surprise that primrose flowers are a perfect gift for someone special. 

You can give a bouquet of primroses to others, irrespective of the occasion. But they are popularly given to romantic partners. Primrose flowers are an ideal gift that you can give to your lover. If you want to tell them your life is impossible without them, give them a bouquet of primrose flowers. The flowers will express the fact that you love them the most.

If you want to express your feelings of love to a woman and appreciate her beauty, pink or red primrose will work very well. Gifting a bouquet of red primrose is especially great to indicate that you cannot live without your ladylove and how much you enjoy the bond you share. 

Apart from that, a primrose is one of February’s birth month flowers. This fact naturally makes it a splendid gift for anyone whose birthday falls in that month.

White symbolizes sadness and mourning; if you want to extend your support, you can give white primroses to grieving family members.

In the Victorian Age, a primrose stood for saying, ‘I can’t live without you.’ And the color red signifies passion and love. So you can surprise your beloved with red primroses on your anniversary to say how dear they are to you.

A primrose variety named Juliana is a great Mother’s Day gift, as it stands for motherly affection and femininity.

On the other hand, these flowers are an excellent symbol of spring and renewal. Yellow primroses are always a great option to give someone starting a new life chapter. Bringing a primrose bouquet home can also uplift everybody’s mood, encouraging them to be more positive, joyful, and energetic.


Every flower has a story that makes it unique, and primroses are no different. A dainty, beautiful flower that blooms in the early spring months.

Popular among poets and gardeners alike, they symbolize grace, young love, and youth across cultures.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!