Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Primula veris

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primula veris L.

Etymology

According to legend, cowslips first appeared from the ground where St. Peter dropped his keys, accounting for some of the common names of this plant. There used to be a widespread belief that cowslips would produce red flowers if they were planted upside down.The origin of Cowslip is obscure: it has been suggested that it is a corruption of 'Cow's Leek,' leek being derived from the Anglo-Saxon word leac, meaning a plant (comp. Houseleek).

Family

Traditional name

Used parts

Tincture of entire fresh plant.

Classification

Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Dilleniidae; Primulales; Primulaceae - Primrose Family

Keywords

Original proving

Schier of Mentz, proved a tincture of fresh plant including root.

Description of the substance

Physical Characteristics

Perennial growing to 0.25m by 0.2m . It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees and Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile. We rate it 3 out of 5 for usefulness.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats and Possible Locations

Meadow, Hedgerow, Woodland, Sunny Edge, Dappled Shade, Shady Edge.

Cultivation details

Prefers a medium to heavy moisture retentive humus rich loam in a cool position with light to medium shade[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils and on chalk[187]. Prefers full sun and a well-drained alkaline soil if it is to survive well[187, 238].

Plants are hardy to about -20°c[187].

A very ornamental plant[1], it grows well in the spring meadow[24].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[133]. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame[1]. Germination is inhibited by temperatures above 20°c[200]. 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[200].
Scent

Flowers:

Fresh
The flowers diffuse a sweet fragrance quite unlike all other flower scents. It has been likened by some to the breath of a cow, by others to the sweet milky breath of a tiny child[245].