A herbaceous perennial, flowering in April and May, the Cowslip is another indicator of Spring and sunnier days ahead. This plant prefers grassland and scrub, in the 1950s though more pesticides, chemical herbicides etc were used in farming and it soon suffered, along with many other wildflowers. The loss of habitat when old grasslands were ploughed meant that it was scare by the 1980s.
They are a larval food plant for the Duke of Burgundy butterfly as pictured here:
It can now be found in verges, along roadsides due to the decline in the use of pesticides etc and they can be found in meadows and open woodland.
They are of course invaluable for early pollinating insects and have a good flowering period – they are enjoyed by the Brimstone butterfly, which can be seen above on a different plant.
It’s great in a meadow setting but will thrive in a pot too, an absolute magnet for solitary bees, butterflies and other insects. Can be easily grown in sun or light shade, they do prefer well-drained soil. Can be divided in Autumn or Spring.
The striking markings of the Duke of Burgundy butterfly shown in photo above.
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