What is primrose?
The primrose(primura Siiboldii) is the official flower of the town of Karuizawa. It is a perennial plant
with lovely rosy flowers. It grows in sunny or damp places by the riverside or on a plain, in Karuizawa
and around Japan. Sadly, the primrose is now theatened by extinction. The bumblebees are very
important for the survival of the primrose, because they pollinate the flowers. The bumblebees
depend on old field mouse burrows for nests to live in.
Environment in Karuizawa
Now, development in Karuizawa is destroying meny wild flower fields, field mouse burrows, and
bumblebee habitat. Illegal plant diggings are further threatening the delicate web of life.
The Karuizawa Primrose Conservation Society is a voluntary organization whose goal is to promote
and protect the self-sustaining population of the Karuizawa Primrose and to maintain the natural
biodiversity of our region for the next generation.
Are Japanese primrose(primula Siiboldii) really in danger of becoming extinct?
Japanese primroses used to be found all over Japan. The people of Karuizawa have made the
Japanese primrose their official flower. However, it is very difficult to find the flowers today. Their
habitat \marshes and grasslands\ is rapidly disapperaring through development for tourism and
conifer foresty, and plants are being illegally bug up from the wild.
How about increasing the number of plants by bringing some from other places?
The genetic inheritance of plants that have lived and developed for thousands of years in one
place can be damaged by the artificial introduction of plants from other areas. Hybrids may
develop, so losing the purity of the Karuizawa primrose, which has developed in the soil and climate
of Karuizawa. It these genetic traits are weakened through hybridization, the plants may become
susceptible to climatic change or disease.
How can we increse the numbers of Karuizawa primrose?
There are two types of japanese primrose, and both are necessary for pollination to be successful
and produce seeds. To increase the numbur of plant, we need to have a rich and balanced
ecosystem \\bumblebees to pollinate the flowers, old field mice burrows for the bees to build
their nests in, owls and foxes to kill the mice and so on.
The Japanese primrose in the symbol of Karuizawa's rich natural environment, a legacy we have
inherited from our ancestors. We want to enrich and preserve it for future generations.