Cowslips - Primula veris
Cowslips Primula veris - The common name Cowslip may derive from the old English for cow dung, possibly because the plant was often found growing amongst the manure in cow pastures.
The species name is veris; veris is from the latin meaning of Spring although the Primrose, Primula vulgaris, flowers earlier, from December to May in the British isles.
Primula veris is a variable evergreen or semi-evergreen perennial plant growing to 25 cm (10 in) tall and broad, with a rosette of leaves 5–15 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. In Spring the flowers are deep yellow, in clusters of 10-30 blooms together on a single stem. Each flower is 9–15 mm broad.
The cowslip is frequently found on more open ground than the primrose, including open fields, meadows, coastal dunes and clifftops. Unfortunately the Cowslip suffered a decline due to changing agricultural practices throughout the 1970s and 1980s in Britain. Therefore it may be rare, but where found it is likely abundant. Additionally the seeds are now often included in wildflower seed mixes used to landscape motorway banks and similar civil engineering earthworks where the plants may be seen in dense stands. Fortunately this practice has led to a revival in its numbers!
The cowslips in Kingfishers Bridge are growing in larger numbers and more dense populations as well as reaching new areas for the first time.
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Reserves Manager at the Kingfishers Bridge wetland creation project in Cambridgeshire.