The best of Dorset in words and pictures

Colin Varndell’s wildlife diary — March

The primrose

The primrose is the harbinger of spring, exploding in great drifts along woodland edges and hedgerow banks throughout the county. It is pollinated by early insects, especially the bee fly, bombylius major, which hovers in front of individual flowers sucking nectar with its long proboscis. The primrose readily hybridises with other primulas, especially the cowslip. The resulting hybrid is known as false oxlip and will appear like a large cowslip with almost primrose-sized flowers.

Dorset Directory