The cowslip flower is one of the more spectacular of our spring flowers – the Latin name, Primula veris, translates as the “Firstling of Spring”. And although it is something of a latecomer amongst the first flowers, its sudden arrival from the long-present leaf rosette is striking. The English name on the other hand is corrupted to obscurity – could it be a “cow's lip”? A “cow slip”? Or even a “cow's leek”? Its sister, the primrose, is simply the Prima rosa – the first rose of the year.