Cowslip Primula veris
|Best Time to See|
"In a cowslip’s bell I lie"
- William Shakespeare, "The Tempest"
One of the best known spring flowers, cowslips are both an adornment of pastures and banks and a nostalgic symbol of the once flower-rich pastures of rural England.
Where it grows
Open woods, grassy places and meadows.
Best time to see
April to May.
- County Flower of Northamptonshire, Worcestershire and Surrey.
- In the Language of Flowers it symbolises comeliness and winning grace
How is it doing?
Suffered a decline between 1930 and 1980, mainly due to the loss of the grasslands where it grows.
3 things you may not know
- Cowslip allegedly means cowpat! Our ancestors noted that they tended to flower where a cow had ‘slupped'.
- In addition to The Tempest, the ‘freckled cowslip' also appears in Shakespeare's Henry V as a sign of a well-managed pasture.
- Its scent is not dissimilar to that of an apricot.