Victorian and Elizabethan primulas include the Victorian Gold-Laced Polyanthus, Double primroses and the quaintly odd plants that

Jack-In-The-Green Primrose

enthusiasts call Jack-in-The Green, Hose-In-Hose, Pantaloon, Gallygaskin and Jackanapes varieties that were so richly prized in the first Elizabethan era
. Double primroses, where the anthers and stylus are transformed into extra petals, have been around for hundreds of years. Indeed, some original varieties are still with us, which gives a good idea of how long these plants can live. In the Jack-in-The-Green primroses, the calyx behind the flower takes on a leafy appearance, giving the impression of a 'ruff' - the type of collar worn by aristocrats in

Hose-In-Hose primrose

Elizabethan times. In the 'Hose-In-Hose' primroses, the calyx takes on a petaloid appearance, in the shape and colour of the flower. It was likened, in Elizabethan times, to the habit of wearing one stocking (or hose) inside the other, hence the name 'Hose-in-Hose'. Pantaloon primroses were similar to hose-in-hose, except that the calyx took on a striped appearance, being part petaloid and part leafy, in the manner of striped pantaloons worn in those days.

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