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A picture of a Cowslip

Cowslip

Primula veris

Also known as

Arthritica, Herb Peter, Common Cowslip, Bedlam Cowslip, Fairy Cup, Galligaskins, Gaskins, Key Flower, Keywort, Lady's Bunch Of Keys, Lady's Candlestick, Lady's Keys, Lady's Seal, Luck Flower, Paggles, Paigle, Paiglewort, Palseywort, Paralysis, Petty Mullein, Primerole, Primet, St Peter's Wort, Cowslip Primrose, English Cowslip

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Half-hardy

H7-H3

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

50cm

Max

10cm

10cm

Min

5 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

More images

A photo of Cowslip
A photo of Cowslip

Overview

This sweet fragrant wildflower was once common throughout the UK, and could be found in hedgerows, ancient woodlands and traditional hay meadows. In Spring it produces upright stems bearing bright yellow bell shaped nodding flowers which stand out above their foliage and look amazing when planted on mass.

Common problems

Harvesting

Collect young flowers from areas that haven't been contaminated with passing dogs, field sprays, etc.

Propagation

Cuttings

Take root basal cutting in Spring, Select strong shoots about 10cm long and cut as close to the base as possible. Remove lower leaves and pinch out the top. Sink cuttings upto 2.5cm deep around the edge onf a pot containing potting compost. Water in and mist cuttings reguarly. Provide bottom heat.

Seed

Allow plants to self seed and lift 1 year old seedlings the following year.

Division

Lift and divide clumps after the flowers have faded in Spring, replant straight away in damp semi shaded locations.

Special Features

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Uses

This low maintenance plant suits being included wildflower meadows, wildlife gardens, woodland settings, informal cottage designs as well as containers and beds and borders. Once used in herbal medicines as a sedative, the flowers were more commonly collected for making Cowslip wine or added to salads or mixed with other herbs to stuff meats.

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