Cowslip

Primula veris

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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.

Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Summer

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

Special features

Origin

Europe, Eurasia

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Half-Hardy

Uses

Notes

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.

Personality

Family

Primulaceae

Flower colour

Yellow

Scent

Strong

Problems

Can be attacked by aphids, vine weevil, slugs, leaf and bud eelworms and red spider mite. This plant is also at risk from Plantago asiatica mosaic virus and Impatiens necrotic spot virus