One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A European primula with clusters of drooping fragrant yellow flowers in spring, growing on dry grassy banks and in pasture.
- ‘One section of the garden is devoted to wildflowers, bluebells nodding gently in the breeze, surrounded by cowslips and violets.’
- ‘Every year the fields and banks near Down House are dotted with cowslips and primroses, all members of the genus Primula.’
- ‘The land was quiet and pleasant, with teasels, cowslips, bluebells, and dark soil ridged for spuds or glowing with oil seed rape.’
- ‘Primula florindae, the Himalayan cowslip, was the next in the sequence to flower, starting in late June and finishing at the end of July.’
- ‘If you're lucky you might just see some cowslips and the last of the snow drops.’
- ‘Primroses, cowslips and swallows are everywhere and the softening in the weather is a sure sign that brighter and warmer days are near.’
- ‘We received data on places around the UK where cowslips, primroses and false oxlips are growing.’
- ‘Mr Slaney said cowslips and primroses have flourished and a pond has developed naturally and become a haven for wildlife.’
- ‘In spring, the pale, delicate yellows of stiff cowslips are succeeded by the stronger chromes of sprawling birdsfoot trefoil and buttercup.’
- ‘I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding cowslip grow.’
- ‘Then I noticed a small clump of cowslips growing wild at the foot of a tree by the lake.’
- ‘The two acre garden is fresh with scent and the colours of cowslips and foxgloves.’
- ‘In the damp fields surrounding the streams I found cowslip, self heal and mayflower.’
- ‘The P. veris of Linnaeus's time is still to this day known as the cowslip.’
- ‘Banks of primroses, drifts of bluebells and clusters of cowslips are now found only in secret, out-of-the-way places.’
- ‘The crocus, the cowslip and its near relation, the primrose and the other early wild flowers will soon follow.’
- ‘And there's another fine view of the village from above if you walk up the hillside nearby and sit among the cowslips.’
- ‘There are flowers running the gamut from native wildflowers such as the cowslip to exotic foreigners.’
- ‘Primrose, cowslip, lady's mantle, bugle, thrift, clustered bellflower are widely available in garden centres, but are all natives.’
- ‘We rounded the corner and there, in the sunlight, was a vision of massed giant Tibetan cowslips, a beautiful saffron.’
2Any of a number of herbaceous plants.
- ‘Other partners for pink daffodils include lavender cowslips.’
- ‘A dewdrop fell from the petal of a lone cowslip growing by the garden wall.’
Old English cūslyppe, from cū ‘cow’ + slipa, slyppe ‘slime’, i.e. cow slobber or dung.
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