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.