Cowslip is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in woodland, grassland and hedgerows, to a mature height of up to 25cm.
Cowslip is thought to be named after the plant's habit of growing in cow dung or wet, slippery ground. Cowslip is a type of Primula, with flowers like the Primrose, but arranged with clusters of several stalked, tubular flowers, opening out to a to bell-shape, drooping down to one side of each flowering stem. The flowers are a stronger yellow than those of the Primrose and have five orange markings radiating out from the centre. Like the Primrose they are early flowering and bear scent. The presence of established wild Cowslip can be an indicator of ancient woodland.
Botanic classification and naming: Cowslip is a member of the Primrose (Primulaceae) family. The genus name
'Primula' identifies the plant as a Primrose and its species name 'veris' means 'true-to-type'.
Concerns: In Northern Ireland, the Cowslip is protected under the Wildlife Order (1985).
Benefits: Cowslips provides an early springtime nectar source for bees, butterflies and other insects. It is also a food source for butterfly and moth caterpillars, including the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.