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Cowslip


Once very common cross pollination with garden polyanthus is cause hybridisation and the true species is becoming rarer.


 

  • Cowslip: herb Peter

    Post date: Tuesday, 30 August, 2016 - 21:30

    There must be 101 reasons to visit Durlston Country Park near Swanage in May and this is certainly one of them. In the flower meadows at the top of the cliffs there are countless numbers of cowslips (Primula veris). The same is true of the neighbouring Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve of Townsend.

    Cowslips were once very common. These days they are still found throughout the county in meadows and on grassland, occasionally even in the middle of roundabouts! They are closely related to the primrose, they are both Primulas and that is where part of the problem lies, Many gardens have cultivated Primula species, especially Polyanthus. Insects visit these and then go on to the the wild cowslip causing hybridisation; gradually the truly natural wild species will die out. The same is happening to Bluebells.

    The cowslip has various other country names including herb Peter! The origin of the name cowslip is unclear but may derive from the fact that it grows well in meadows well manured by cow dung or cow slips. 


     

Common Name Cowslip
Scientific Name Primula veris
Species Group Primrose Family Primulaceae
Status
Interest Level
2
Visabile
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Primrose family - Primulaceae
Status Local
Flower Colour Group Yellow
Visible
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
Preferred Environment
Look for Multi-headed pale yellow flowers that are 'closed' rather than open like a primrose
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Primrose Family Primulaceae