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Uses

Toxic parts

Some people are allergic to the stamens of this plant, though such cases are easily treated[1].

Edible uses

Notes

Young leaves - raw or cooked in soups etc[2][1][3][4][5]. They are not that tasty, but are available in late winter which adds somewhat to their value[K].

The fresh or dried leaves are used as a tea substitute[6][5].

Flowers - raw, cooked or used in conserves, as a garnish etc[2][5]. They make an ornamental addition to the salad bowl[238, K]. This species has become much less common in the past 100 years due to habitat destruction, over-collecting from the wild and farming practices. When it was more abundant, the flowers were harvested in quantity in the spring and used to make a tasty wine with sedative and nervine properties[7].

Flowers

Leaves

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Primula veris.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Cowslips are an underused but valuable medicinal herb. They have a very long history of medicinal use and have been particularly employed in treating conditions involving spasms, cramps, paralysis and rheumatic pains[7]. The plant contains saponins, which have an expectorant effect, and salicylates which are the main ingredient of aspirin and have anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge effects[7]. This remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women, patients who are sensitive to aspirin, or those taking anti-coagulant drugs such as warfarin[7].

The flowers and the leaves are anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic and expectorant[1][8][9][10]. They are harvested in the spring and can be used fresh or dried[7]. The yellow corolla of the flower is antispasmodic and sedative[2]. They are recommended for treating over-activity and sleeplessness, especially in children[11]. They are potentially valuable in the treatment of asthma and other allergic conditions[11]. At one time an oil was produced by maceration of the flowers, this has an antiecchymotic effect (treats bruising)[1]. The root contains 5 - 10% triterpenoid saponins which are strongly expectorant, stimulating a more liquid mucous and so easing the clearance of phlegm [11]. It has been dried and made into a powder then used as a sternutatory[1]. The root is also mildly diuretic, antirheumatic and slows the clotting of blood[8][11]. It is used in the treatment of chronic coughs (especially those associated with chronic bronchitis and catarrhal congestion), flu and other febrile conditions[8]. The root can be harvested in the spring or autumn and is dried for later use[8]. The leaves have similar medicinal properties to the roots but are weaker in action[11].

A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[8]. It is used in the treatment of kidney complaints and catarrh[8].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[12]. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame[13]. Germination is inhibited by temperatures above 20°c[14]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in autumn. This is best done every other year[14].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Primula veris. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a medium to heavy moisture retentive humus rich loam in a cool position with light to medium shade[14]. Grows well in heavy clay soils and on chalk[15]. Prefers full sun and a well-drained alkaline soil if it is to survive well[15][7].

Plants are hardy to about -20°c[15]. A very ornamental plant[13], it grows well in the spring meadow[16].

The flowers diffuse a sweet fragrance quite unlike all other flower scents. It has been likened by some to the breath of a cow (cuslippe is the Saxon word for this and thus the origin of the common name), by others to the sweet milky breath of a tiny child[17].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Primula veris. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Primula veris.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Primula veris
Genus
Primula
Family
Primulaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.51.6 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.4 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
    4. ? 4.04.1 Niebuhr. A. D. Herbs of Greece. Herb Society of America. (1970-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.7 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.6 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.5 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    12. ? Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1. Thompson and Morgan. (1987-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.2 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    16. ? Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden. ()
    17. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    18. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17

    Cite error: <ref> tag with name "PFAFimport-13" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.

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    Facts about "Primula veris"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyPrimulaceae +
    Belongs to genusPrimula +
    Has binomial namePrimula veris +
    Has common nameCowslip +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFlowers +, Leaves + and Unknown part +
    Has edible useUnknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile +, Bees + and Lepidoptera +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone5 +
    Has imagePrimula veris 170405.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has mature height0.25 +
    Has mature width0.2 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnodyne +, Antiecchymotic +, Antiinflammatory +, Antispasmodic +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Expectorant +, Sedative + and Sternutatory +
    Has primary imagePrimula veris 170405.jpg +
    Has search nameprimula veris + and cowslip +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy namePrimula veris +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris +, Primula veris + and Primula veris +