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Herbaceous Perennial

Primula veris (Pr)
  • RHS AGM

common cowslip

P. veris is a semi-evergreen perennial to 25cm, with a rosette of distinctly stalked, oblong-ovate leaves and upright stems bearing umbels of nodding, bell-shaped, fragrant rich yellow flowers 1.5cm in width

Other common names
Bedlam cowslip
fairy cup
see moregalligaskins
gaskins
herb Peter
key flower
keywort
lady's bunch of keys
lady's candlestick
lady's keys
lady's seal
luck flower
paggles
paigle
paiglewort
palseywort
paralysis
petty mullein
primerole
primet
St Peter's wort
Synonyms
Primula macrocalyx
Primula montana
see morePrimula officinalis
Buy this plant
Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing or North–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Primulaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Primula are herbaceous or semi-evergreen perennials, forming a basal rosette of simple leaves, with salver-shaped or bell-shaped flowers which may be solitary or carried in an umbel or in whorls on an erect stem

Name status

Correct

Horticultural Group
Primula section primulas can be evergreen or herbaceous perennials, forming a rosette of oblong or obovate leaves and with clusters or umbels of salver-shaped flowers in winter or spring
Plant range
Europe, W Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow as biennials for bedding and in a container or rock garden. Favours a sheltered position in sun or partial shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed or root basal cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be attacked by aphids, vine weevil, slugs, leaf and bud eelworms and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases

May be subject to a leaf spot and grey mould

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