What: A harbinger of spring, Primula veris brightens the garden with its multiple golden yellow flowers. Cowslip has a smidgen of orange to reddish color at the base, inside each flower. In “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” William Shakespeare wrote about this European native: “The cowslips tall her pensioners be. In their gold coats spots you see. Those be rubies, fairy favors. Their sweet smells come from those little freckles.” Indeed, cowslips have a light fragrance that wafts upon the springtime air.
Where: Plant these primroses in light to open shade. For the best growth a soil that is rich would be ideal, although clay or sand would be fine, as well as long as it is well-drained.
Size: Cowslips grow to 9 inches tall and 1 feet wide when mature.
Care: Water these perennials regularly during the dry season. If given the right conditions, these plants will self-sow creating a vivid multitude of flowers. However, they generally do not spread beyond into drier areas.
— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks