Sunday, March 21, 2021


I think this is a coucou (cowslip). It looks like one, except that it's not yellow, as most of them are. They're closely related to primroses, the main difference being that the flowers are on tall stalks instead of close to the ground. This one is growing all by itself in our lawn.

A pink and yellow cowslip.

It's called coucou (cuckoo) because it flowers right around the time that the cuckoo birds show up to spend the spring months on their way north from their wintering grounds in southern Africa and southeast Asia. I heard one cuckoo calling a couple weeks ago, too early for them to be here. The proverbial early bird, I suppose. Perhaps he got the worm. I haven't heard one since, but they should start showing up soon.


  1. I've never seen cowslip in those colors before. Beautiful. And I've now got a "So long, farewell..." earworm from Sound of Music. "And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say Cuckoo... Cuckoo.."

  2. This is most certainly a hybrid between the 'coucou' and domestic Primroses....
    it is absolutely lovely.
    The form that the flower has taken is that of the Oxlip [Primula elatior]....
    but it is of the more common False Oxlip [Primula x polyantha] form.
    Very nice....

  3. That looks really pretty in those colors.

  4. I always think of Shakespeare when I hear or see cowslip.

  5. It’s so nice to have at least some growing things that we don’t have to maintain, isn’t it?

  6. The first time a French acquaintance greeted me with "CooCoo", I was, er, puzzled. But I figured it out from the context, and then later read about its use. Your flower looks more primrosey than cowslippy to me.

  7. mitch, auf wiedersehen, good night.

    tim, thanks!

    judy, I agree.

    michael, hark! What flower groweth there?

    bettyann, so true.

    emm, it's a common usage. Our neighbor would often stop by our gate and call to us that way rather than ring the bell.


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