Cowslips / Spring / Summer / Edible
Cowslips (Primula Veris) Identification
A common herbaceous, perennial flowering plant.
Cowslips, Herb Peter.
Kingdom – Plantae
Order – Ericales
Family – Primulaceae
Physical Characteristics for Cowslips
Dark green, long and crinkly. 5-10cm long.
Trumpet-shaped, bright yellow with five petals, many flowers on each stem.
Grassy areas, parks, meadows, especially areas used for grazing cows.
Could be Confused with…
Primrose looks very similar but only produces one flower per stem. It is also edible with a similar flavour.
The leaves are slightly bitter but can be used in salads or cooked like spinach. The flowers have a lovely citrusy flavour and look great in salads or used as a garnish. They have also been traditionally used to flavour ‘country’ wines and for cowslip pudding, an old English dish.
Notes on Herbal Uses
A tea made from the flowers has traditionally been used to treat a wide range of ailments including bronchitis, insomnia, heart failure and asthma.
Extra notes from the Foragers
The name cowslip is an old English word for a cow pat, where this plant can quite often be found growing.