by Richard Katz
Sierra Primrose flower essence is the embodiment of life affirmation, inspiring joy and gratitude for the gift of life regardless of our circumstances.
For example, Sierra Primrose was one of the flower essences used by Brazilian flower essence practitioner Vania DeGrande in a program helping children with disabilities, including autism. It has been helpful both for the children and the health professionals to bring a “renewal of forces” rather than withdrawal, during the often long and difficult healing process. It is noteworthy that in this program, the children worked with the poem “Primavera,” which means “spring” in Portuguese, but is also used to describe the Primrose or Primula plants (as in Spanish).
The genus name Primula comes from the Latin primulus for “first” and refers to the early spring-blooming primroses (‘first roses”). Sierra Primrose (Primula suffrutescens) is a native California wildflower found in the heights of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It blooms in mid to late summer, just as the melting snow sends streams of pure water down the rocky slopes. This is “spring” in the mountains.
Sierra Primrose is a perennial plant, growing each year from a robust rhizome. It is considered a subshrub with a “woody base,” which is the meaning of the species name suffrutescens. Fed by snow melt water, the plant quickly develops several basal rosettes of cupped leaves with toothed edges. Then a single stem emerges with several magenta flowers, with heart-shaped petals and a bright yellow center.
The whole plant, and particularly the flowers, have a soothing sweet aroma and taste, as we experienced when we made the flower essences. The energy of the essence is exhilarating, sparkling with the scintillating light of the Sierra sun dancing on the pure watery streams.
The lesson of Sierra Primrose is not so much a celebration of youthful vitality, but rather an appreciation for the gift of life no matter our circumstances, even when challenged by health or other obstacles. As Brother David Steindl-Rast said, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful; it is gratefulness that makes us happy.”
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Enjoy this video portrait from Richard’s visit to the Sierra Primrose in August 2019. Click on the icon in the lower right to view the video full screen.