I have chosen another bright yellow spring time flower for Cee’s flower of the day photo challenge. Cowslips (primula veris) are a relative of the primrose with a similar dark green wrinkled leaf but the small bell shaped flowers grow from a single stalk. In the past the flowers were used to add colour and flavour to wine.
When I was young cowslips were a common sight in English hay meadows and in the verges by the side of roads however they gradually disappeared almost without anyone noticing. At first it was blamed on the over use of pesticide by farmers and the loss of the insects and bees who used to pollinate them. More recently researchers including Miriam Rothschild, the eccentric heiress to a banking fortune discovered that one of the culprits was global warming. Cowslip seeds need a period of cold weather before they start to germinate. Growers were able to encourage the seeds to sprout by putting them in a fridge for a few weeks and add them to wildflower seed mixes. I am pleased to say they are returning to our countryside. I spotted these last week in a wildflower bed planted at our local folk house.