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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Auriculas Flowers

Type of Flowers 
Auriculas are members of the Genus Primula which is a large family of plants comprising over 425 species and many thousands of hybrids. 
The auricula first appeared in European gardens around the middle of the sixteenth century. The cultivated forms which we grow today have been developed for over 350 years as Florist Flowers. The word florist, used in this sense, refers to a gardener who grows and raises plants to agreed standards. The use of the word to mean a flower seller is a relatively recent development. 
The auricula has a long and fascinating history starting from a cross between 2 European alpine primulas. There are 2 schools of thought as to how auriculas reached England. 
One is that they were introduced by Flemish weavers fleeing religious persecution in the 1570s. However, at that time, these plants were still novelties and were grown only by the rich. 

The 2nd school of thought says that it is more probable they arrived, as did most other flowers, by interchange between leading Continental and English plantsmen. Whichever it was, they became very popular and were popular with artists. 
The auricula was one of the great florist's flowers, some of the others being anemone, ranunculi, tulips and carnations. The term ˜florist" was originally applied in the 1600s to a person who grew plants for the sake of their decorative flowers rather than for any useful property the plant might have. The modern meaning of florist only came into being towards the end of the 19th century. 

The florists formed groups with like-minded people to meet and hold 'feasts'. By the 19th century the florists groups were very popular with working class people in the industrial North and Midlands of England. They met in public houses to show off their tulips, auriculas, primulas and carnations and to weigh their giant gooseberries. Prizes at their shows were frequently copper kettles & the public houses would often hang a copper kettle outside on show days. Towards the end of the 19th century, a movement developed against what were termed "artificial flowers" and florists flowers lost popularity, some disappearing completely. 
However the auricula still had its adherents although stripes disappeared and doubles became exceedingly rare.The auricula, however, retained a loyal following especially in the north of England, although Stripes vanished and Doubles became rare. Then a further blow was struck with the advent of the First World War when many of the named varieties vanished.Between the wars the auricula was kept in being by the auricula societies, and then after the second world war a recovery began that continues to this day. A large number of new varieties of both edged and self-coloured auriculas have been raised by the modern successors to the old florists. Striped auriculas have been re-introduced and more new doubles are exhibited each year, their current magnificence ows much to the dedicated breeders in the United Kingdom

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