The Cowslip is the Queen of our meadow flowers. It is common in England and Ireland, and in many parts of Scotland. The spring, or early summer, is the best time to find it.
The flowers grow, a dozen or more together, in a loose cluster, at the end of a stout, round stalk. Each flower has a yellow tube which is sunk out of sight in a swollen calyx-cup. This cup is a beautiful light green colour, with five sharp teeth at the mouth, and it is covered with soft hairs. Sometimes you find it tinged with brown streaks.
Round the mouth of the yellow flower-tube stand five small lemon-coloured petals, each with a V-shaped nick in the outer edge, and a bright, reddish-orange spot at the base. If you look at the back of a cowslip, you will see that the yellow tube is swollen just below the petals.
There are five stamens, whose heads are just visible in the throat of the tube, with the tip of the seed-vessel amongst them. In some flowers this slender pillar comes a good way beyond the mouth of the tube, and the stamens are hidden out of sight.
The Cowslip leaves are crinkled all over, and have swollen veins which are much raised on the underside. In the young leaves the edges are rolled very far back.
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