We may look upon the primrose family as a group that shows us regular, perfect flowers. And after having tried our patience over the unexpected developments of other families it is certainly a pleasure to come upon one of these straightforward little blossoms, whose motto seems to be, to jog along as comfortably as possible and to make no mystery of its ways. There is no lack of originality, however, among the primroses. The shooting star is a very different-appearing flower from the spreading poor-man's weather-glass, or the yellow loosestrife. It is not a very large family and may be known on the whole as gamopet-alous herbs that are arranged in divisions of five, rarely six or seven. There are as many stamens as there are lobes of the corolla, which are inserted on and opposite the latter. The stigma and style are undivided. In fruit the ovary, which is one-celled, enlarges into a pod; and in different species the number of seeds varies greatly. The leaves may be generally said to be simple. The generic name, Primula, is from primus, spring. Bryant says of the primrose:
" Emblem of early sweetness, early death, Nestled the lowly primrose."