Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Primula

A walk in the sunshine this morning, trying to keep out of the wind which was quite strong. We were delighted to see a large number of Cowslips (Primula veris), in full flower, thrusting up through the grassland.
There were hundreds of these small, yellow flowers all over the place. Cowslips have many different folk-names and are know variously as Peagles, Peggles or Paigles, Key Flower, Key of Heaven, Fairy Cups, Petty Mulleins, Crewel, Buckles, Palsywort, Plumrocks, and many, many more.
The Spanish have used the leaves of these plants for centuries, as a salad leaf.  Nicholas Culpepper, writing in the mid 17th Century, said of the Cowslip "...The flowers are held to be more effectual than the leaves, and the roots of little use. An ointment being made with them, takes away spots and wrinkles of the skin, sun-burning, and freckles, and adds beauty exceedingly; they remedy all infirmities of the head coming of heat and wind, as vertigo, ephialtes, false apparitions, phrensies, falling-sickness, palsies, convulsions, cramps, pains in the nerves; the roots ease pains in the back and bladder, and open the passages of urine. The leaves are good in wounds, and the flowers take away trembling....". Very useful!
A few days ago, I mentioned the Wood Anemones growing around Shipley Park. Those were, sadly unopened as it was a dull day. This morning however, the flowers were all fully open and displaying their beauty to all.
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