Potted Cowslip



stone pot and cowslip


The hedgerow here is greening, and cowslips push their clusters of curled lush leaves upward in vibrant wrinkly fronds.  They’re promising slender delicate stems abundant with pale yellow flowers.

Since early times cowslip has been cultivated in the British Isles and was popular in medieval herb gardens – having magical and medicinal properties. Farmers used to crush cowslip leaves and put the juice on their cows’ udders to protect them throughout the year and to ensure that the cows’ milk production was not stolen or interfered with by evil spirits.  The flower’s scent is considered healing, the leaves and flowers can be added to salads and the leaves can be cooked like spinach or put into soups.

If you can harvest enough of the flowers they’ll make the sweet, sedative cowslip wine.

I’ve got a bit of a soft-spot for this traditional meadow plant, it is part of my understanding of wildflowers and hedgerows, bravely leading the way out of the cold winter months.  I divided a large clump that grew by my hedge last year, it seemed quite ruthless at the time, tearing at the plant, so I’m especially pleased to see so many mini cowslip plants beginning to emerge.

They provide a valuable food source for bees and are the larval host plant for the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, as well as an important nectar source.

I hope they’re growing where you are too.




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