SOLVED: Cowslip?

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Here's another one of my mystery plants: This plant is growing at a friend's by the pond in her rock garden. She gave me seed last year, and they rooted quite nicely. Now I'm not sure what they are. I know they're a primula, and they have a lovely nutmeg scent, but are they the common cowslip. Somehow the stem seems too long. Thompson and Morgan has one called florindae that could match, as well. Anybody out there a Primula buff?

Thumbnail by Weezingreens
High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

WZ... i have not grown primula. so i would not know what i will be looking for. but, check this url, it might help...


It's not a Cowslip (P. veris) thats for sure, they have a baby, milky scent and the plant pictured appears to be quite large. There are a number of Primula which bear umbles of yellow flowers but I agree with you that it is P. florindae due to its sheer size and nutmeg fragrance.

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Whatever it is, it's gorgeous!!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Well, since my posting, I've visited the site MaeVieRose suggested, and I tried for more pics of the florindaes.

Baa: florindae it is! I'm almost sorry I did all that cruising around to confirm it, because now I've got the hots for a florindae rubra. Apparently this baby grows naturally in Tibet, and as well as yellow, it comes in shades of orange red! I'm going to have to do some hunting around! Thanks for the help, you guys!...WZ

That's the problem with Prims there are so many different forms and I want all of them ;)I'm hoping to obtain the seeds of P florindae Buff form, pale browish/yellow flowers, I've got P veris Red strain as seeds but Primula is my seed nemesis, so for now I'm in the hands of whoever looks after seed sowers LOL.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Baa: When you say seed nemesis, are you referring to storage, germination, or just getting specific seed. I've started the vialli, the auricula, and some of the dwarf polyantha last year. Germination was sporadic on all but the auricula and the one I've decided is florindae. This year, I'm planting more of the same, plus the denticulata, candelabras, & tall polyanthas: Miller's Crimson and Pacific Giant Mix. I can see that a person would have to really stay on top of the process, and I may be doomed to fail with these if I was falsely assured by a couple of amiable varieties...I'll let you know.

There is a greenhouse on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula in Homer, who grows wonderful primula. I visited her gardens once, and bought some different varieties. If any of you gardeners ever visit this area, I'd heartily recommend her greenhouse. It's called Fritz Creek Gardens. She has a wonderful selection of plants for alpine environments and cooler climates.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

It just occured to me that cowslip could be interpreted two different ways. I guess I've always thought of it as a cow slip, but it seems I've read that it is really cow's lip, referring to the similarity of smell between a cowslip and a cow's this a figment of my imagination?? If so, not bad, eh?...WZ

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

Looks like Primula veris, but it isn't | P. veris grows wild here. It has smaller and thinner leaves.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Yes, Evert: I thought it was a veris myself, until I took another look at this picture and studied the descriptions. The stems are quite long, and it has that lovely nutmeggy scent attributed to the that's what I think it is.

Since veris grows wild in your area, I thought you might enjoy this little bit of info I picked up on one of the database sights:

"History: Originally from Europe. Children used to suck the nectar from the flowers and the scent is a little like cow's breath (which smells sweet if you were feeling ill at the thought!). This isn't where its most used common name comes from though, its from the Old English Cu-slyppe because they thought it was more abundant in meadows with a lot of cow slops. Once used as a medicinal (please don't try it) for nervous complaints and palsy (another common name is Palsywort) and in a cosmetic water."

So, I was mistaken about the history of the name "cowslip", but the true origin of "cow slops" is hardly more flattering. Whatever the case, it is a wonderful little plant...even if mine is not a veris!

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

Cool history =)

I like Primulas, I should buy more..

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Evert: I just started growing primulas two years ago, and I love them. I have auriculas, vugaris, dwarf polyanthas, viallis, and florindae. This year I am starting seeds for denticulata, tall polyanthas, and bullyeanas. I hope they all germinate for me!

I have some collected seed from the florindae, if you'd like some. They were collected in 2000, so I hope they are viable. I think I have your address, if you'd like some. Can I mail flower seed to Finland?...WZ

Hey that's Baa spouting off again, I'd recognise that writing anywhere! Cu Slyppe I think is most descriptive a is most anglo-saxon vernacular ;)

Primulas are my nemesis because I've sown what feels like a huge amount of seed and none came up. I went out and bought a few and they are now everywhere hybridising on their own, proving my point that seeds germiate much better when fresh. Auriculas are the easiest Prims from seed.

I have a few species of Prims to sow this year, crossed fingers, I'll let you knowhow they get on later.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Baa: I was pretty dumb about primulas last spring when I planted those florindae seed, and they came up fine...the others were a bit less successful. The other varieties I'm trying this spring aren't due to come up for awhile, but I'm hoping. Fresh seed may be the trick...I've heard that maybe we should just be shaking their little heads out on the ground each fall! Good luck on your primula seeds, and please wish me the same...let me know if you want some of the florindae to try...WZ


Good luck with the prim seeds! I'd love to swap for some florindae seeds if you can spare a few, what are you looking for? (don't rely on the trade list I've posted here, that's not all I have!)

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Hi, Baa: Lord, I have so many seeds now, I can't even think of anything...unless you have some Serbian Bellflower! I've decided to grow as many campanulas as I can, but I think there are as many kinds of campanulas as there are snowflakes! I'll be happy to send you some of the primrose seed, and you can send me something nifty some other time. If your address is on the Susan's list, I'll get them out to you in the next few days. Otherwise, email your address to me...WZ

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

WZIG, sorry I haven't answered... yes I would love the seeds! You have a nice collection :) I don't have even a veris myself.. have to dig one up from nature or from my friend- HEh

Yes, you can mail seeds here, it is good to put a CN22 customs label to the envelope.. But maybe it is not needed.

BTW, I am collecting campanulas... I grew some C. medium from seeds lastr year. Now I have seeds of several species f.ex. C. alliarifolia, C. lactiflora, C. punctata.. :) I also like Codonopsis and will get more. I have so far only one - C. clematidea.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Hi, Everet: I'll check at the post office before I mail anything out. I'll send you some florindae seed, and check my campanula seeds for ones you don't have. I have C. latifolia (great bellflower), C. carpatica (carpathian bellflower), & some C. cochlearifolia (fairy thimbles). I'd sure like to get some seed for the C. punctata, if you have any to spare...WZ

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

Evert ;)

OK. I do have We have carpatica plants already.... But the 2 other sound nice.

I will check the punctata. I was just sending you a letter, it is still on my table ready to be sent :) I hope it arrives if I put seeds there, as because of the new phytosanity things.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Hi, Evert:

I'll send you some latifolia, glomerata, and cochlearifolia, & I'll include some info. I always add a note on my envelope to let the mail services know there are seeds enclosed. They've been irradiating mail in some parts of the country since the Antrax thing, so they need to know. Irradiation sterilizes the seed!...WZ

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

OK, thanks :)

I put always an customs label and write there what the letter contains - if Iäm sending outside EU area.

We don't have irradiation... That's good.

Do they irradiate letters in AK? I thought they do it only in big cities.

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