Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Our native plants often have beautiful flowers in spring. But we may overlook the strong, architectural qualities that their seed heads sometimes have later in the season.

Here, a cowslip seedhead (primula veris) is full of ripe seeds and stands, drying in the July sun.

Cowslips provide a useful early spring nectar source just a little later in the season than their primrose cousins.

To ensure that you continue to get a good spread of cowslips across the vegetable garden in spring, snip off the seedhead and shake it like a babies rattle in areas where you hope to see plants in following seasons.

Cowslips seeds do like to have a good spell of cold winter weather before they will successfully germinate the following spring.

The cowslip is the larval food plant of the rare Duke of Burgundy fritillary butterfly.

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