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An estimated 25000 cowslips live in our wildflower meadows!

Cowslips are a native plant of Europe and western Asia and a good nectar source for bees and butterflies. They were a common sight in the british countryside in wildflower meadows and pastures. Indeed the common name cowslip may derive from the old English for cow dung, probably because the plant was often found growing amongst the manure in cow pastures.

The plant has suffered a decline due to changing agricultural practices and loss of its traditional habitat - traditional meadows, ancient woodlands and hedgerows. If you do find some in the countryside, whilst increasingly rare across the Uk, they are social plants so grow in large drifts.

Luckily, they are deadeasy to grow at home either in grassy areas or in borders. Unfussy about soil apart from very heavy clay, they just like a sunny spot. PLant them in either in spirng or autumn and enjoy them for years to come. If they like their new home they will self seed so they will be more to enjoy!

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. This practice has led to a revival in its fortunes

Primula veris, the cowslip is one the 500 diferent species of primroses, that grow across the temperate northern hemisphere, south into tropical mountains in Ethiopia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and in temperate southern South America. Almost half of the known species are from the Himalayas.

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AGM  (Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit).  This award indicates that this plant is recommended by the RHS following plant trials during which the plant met strict criteria testing its garden worthiness.  More information


Back to our favourite April plants