COWSLIP

Primula veris

Primrose Family [Primulaceae]  

month8apr month8april month8May

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8orange
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ1
 (5)
type
typeZbell
 
stem
stem8round
 
smell
smell8sweet
sweet

15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Near Carnforth, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Cowslip prefers limestone or chalk areas. Here, limestone.


2nd May 2008, Greenfield, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
A carpet of Cowslip


13th May 2005, (disused) Lancaster Canal, Sedgewick. Photo: © RWD
The (basal only) leaves, similar to Primrose, taper suddenly towards the ground


2nd May 2008, Greenfield, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD


9th May 2008, disused Lancaster to Morecambe railway 'line'. Photo: © RWD
The flowers droop preferentially to one side, emerging on drooping stalks from an umbel atop the single stem.


9th May 2008, disused Lancaster to Morecambe railway 'line'. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are cup-shaped at the extremities.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
After flowering they erect themselves from the stooped flowering posture as they go to seed/fruit looking like a different plant (but their leaves always give them away).


8th June 2007, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Spent Cowslips tip the sepals skywards after flowering, stigma protruding further as the ovary turns to fruit.


Hybridizes with : Primrose to produce False Oxlip. In addition Cowslip hybridizes with Oxlip, but these are the rarer of the two hybrids, growing only where both grow together; namely only in Eastern England.

Lookee-Likees : Oxlip and False Oxlip.

Confusable with: Polyanthus: a garden variety with much larger flowers with a pinkish or purplish hue.

Distinguishing Feature:

No familial relation to : Anything else with 'cow' in the name.

Cowslip, unlike Oxlip, has a tendency to spread and carpet grassland with a swathe. Standing less that a foot in height, it prefers to grow in alkaline soils such as limestone or chalk. The flowers are a deep yellow, orange near the base; being numerous at the top of a single leafless and downy stem, most drooping downwards and (unlike Oxlip) preferring to droop to one side or other of the stem. The leaves are Primrose-like: crinkly and forming a basal rosette, but smaller. The leaves become abruptly narrower near the base, forming a wing.

The flowers are fragrant. Cowslip is the County Flower of Northamptonshire, Surrey and Worcestershire.


  Primula veris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Primulaceae  

Distribution
family8primrose family8Primulaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8primula
Primula
(Primroses)

COWSLIP

Primula veris

Primrose Family [Primulaceae]  

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