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Cowslip (Primula veris)

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Primula veris is a flowering plant in the genus Primula, native throughout most of temperate Europe and Asia although absent from more northerly areas including northern Scotland. It is frequently found on more open ground than Primula vulgaris (Primrose) including open fields, meadows, and coastal dunes and clifftops. It is often included in wild-flower seed mixes used to landscape motorway banks and similar civil engineering earth-works where it may be seen in dense stands.

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      15.02.2007 01:17
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      A useful plant that looks nice, and it has its uses medicinally & in the kitchen

      The Herb reviews are going down really well, so i decided to add some more

      Cowslip - Primula veris

      ***The Plant***

      Cowslip is also known as St Peters keys, Fair bells, Herb Peter, Keys of Heaven, and Golden Drops to name a few.

      The herb is native to Northern & Central Europe, Cowslip can be found any many areas including meadows, pastures, and has even been found to be growing up 6000ft up mountain sides.

      Legend has it that St Peter keys let his keys to heaven drop to earth after he learned there was a duplicate set had been made, and where the keys had fallen Cowslip's grew, hence the name Keys of Heaven.

      Cowslip has got its name from a old English saying "Cu-sloppe" as it was found to grow where cows had done there business (yuck).

      Cowslip is a hardy perennial that can spread 6-8 inches and grows to a height of 6-8 inches.

      A fragrant cluster of yellow tubular flowers are seen in the spring, the leaves are oval shaped and are green.

      The herb is becoming rare in the UK due to farming methods, which don't let the grass grow to long. But it is making a comeback on the banked canal systems and on waterways. The herb is well established in East Anglia where it seems to be happy.

      ***Cultivation***

      The best way is to sow fresh, collect the seed heads in autumn and sow them directly on the surface of the pots or seed tray. Cover with glass and put somewhere cool, like a cold frame, or even a cold greenhouse.

      Germination takes about 4-6 weeks and remove the glass as soon as the seedling appear.

      Pot the seedling on into pots when strong enough to move and then place outside after the frost has passed.

      Being a Primula you can divide the plant, and the best time to do this is in the autumn. All you have to do is dig the plant up and gently separate it.

      You can either replant or pot the plant on, but it may need protecting from the frost for the first 8 weeks until the roots have established in the ground.

      The main pest for this plant is the dreaded Vine weevil.

      Only dead head the plant if you don't want the seed.

      The plant is also happy to grow in containers in the part shade.

      ***Medicinal***

      A tea can be made from the flowers and is supposed to be a remedy for insomnia, nervous tension and headaches.

      The plant also helps with Palsy and Paralysis.

      The roots have many properties as it has a high Saponin (steroids with a nitrogen function), and is used to treat whooping cough and bronchitis.

      Another use the root is to alleviate arthritis.

      ***Culinary***

      The leaves can be used in salads and for stuffing meat, and the flowers can make cowslip wine and a refreshing tea.

      ***Cowslip tea***

      Get the kettle boiled and pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonfuls of the petals and let infuse for 10-15 minutes.


      ***WARNING***

      Hyper sensitive people need to avoid this plant

      As with all herbal medicine do your researches before you use it

      Thanks for reading my reviews, and thankyou for rating them.

      Tashi Delek (May everything be well)

      enlightened_one © 2007

      ***

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      Review also on Ciao

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