Primroses can be purple, but are most commonly, the softest, most delicate pale yellow, a colour very rare amongst flowers. The name Primrose comes from the Latin prima rosa, meaning ‘first rose’ as it is one of the earliest spring flowers. Officially, they flower from April through to summer but if the winter is mild they can be seen from January. Primroses were a common sight in Victorian cottage gardens and woodlands, but over-collection and theft have reduced stocks and since the UK Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the picking of primroses or the removal of plants from the wild is illegal. Primroses are a low-growing herbaceous perennial plant, that produce either ‘pin’ flowers (where the ‘style’ is prominent), or ‘thrum’ flowers (where the stamens are prominent). Fertilisation can only take place between pin and thrum flowers. The flowers are borne singly on a slender stem from a basal rosette of leaves. Mature plants can easily be divided to increase stock. Primroses are wild woodland plants and as such enjoy dappled shade and moist soil.