Aside from the path, on an almost hidden path in the woods, by accident we stumble upon this beautiful primrose. She is flowering in solitude and you can see her from quite a distance. Her common name is Cowslip  – Primula Veris (or Primula Officinalis)  She is radiant between all the green.

    Heaven's Keys

    The Primula Veris has many nicknames like heaven's keys, keyflower, fairy cup. In Dutch we call the primula 'keyflower' ('Sleutelbloem'). This name is probably based on a legend about St. Peter. St. Peter is the keeper of the keys of heaven. In a moment of sleepiness the keys fell out of his hand onto earth. St. Peter picked up the keys as soon as possible but on the spot where the keys fell grew the first primroses flowers. 

    The name 'keyflower' sounds much more romantic then the English common name Cowslip. Cowslip refers to the The Old English for cow dung, probably because the plant was often found growing amongst the manure in cow meadows.

    Flower Language

    The word “prime” in Primerose and Primula refer to the first flowering as they come so early in spring. 'Veris' means 'true'. There are many kinds of Primula. I think there are different kinds of Primula in the woods of Eleusis too. And I think this one is quite rare. It was quite a challenge for me to be certain about this pretty one because the Primula Veris and the Primula Elatior are looking almost the same. Thanks to my book and the internet I discovered that this particular Primrose has little orange dots inside the flower. I returned to the flower to check and yes! Orange dots around the heart of the flower.


    It is all about the details... I don'tknow exactly why, but I felt a kind of joy, when I discovered the little dots. Maybe because I learnt something new about 'the language' of the flowers. To be aware of these small details like the shape of the leaves, the flower, and the shape of the stem, the colours, the structure, is it hairy or not...  and so on.  The small dots inside the yellow flower head give me a confirmation of her name.


    In herbal medicine the extract of Primula Veris is used in cold remedies to relieve coughs and bronchial symptoms.

    The woods of Eleusis seems to be full of different kind of flowers. Lots of secrets to learn about the language of the plants. When   I  discover new flowering plants I will will share my new discoveries on the site. 


    The hawthorn is a sacred tree playing an important role in many pagan religions, in Europe both in the Mediterranean cults and in the Baltic ones and in Ireland they are faerie trees. It is associated with the union of Ares & Aphrotdite (Mars & Venus) - the sacred marriage.

    9108761696?profile=originalIt is also called may or the may tree and is strongly associated with May Day, spring,  fertility, union, reconciliation, peace, sleep, dream, enchantment, story telling, and peaceful death.

    Young girls would rise at dawn to anoint themselves with dew gathered from hawthorn flowers to ensure their beauty in the coming year…

    The fair maid who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day

    And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree,

    Will ever after handsome be.

    In ancient Greek religion, married couples are crowned with hawthorn blossoms and the wedding party carry torches of hawthorn. Magic wands are often made of it and, so it is said, also witches brooms. May poles, used in May Day dancing, were traditionally made of hawthorn or decorated with hawthorn twigs and boughs. From parts of the plant one can make sedative remedies and potions that reduce blood pressure. Bad luck is said to follow those who harm or abuse the faerie tree.

    The cult of the may tree largely escaped persecution by the incoming Christian religion because it was thought that the crown of thorns worn by Christ at the crucifixion was hawthorn.

    We have may trees in many parts of our land at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis). they like the moist alkaline soil. In our Aphrodite field they occupy pride of place in the centre.

    A hundred years I slept beneath a thorn

    Until the tree was root and branches of my thought,

    Until white petals blossomed in my crown.
      - From The Traveller by Kathleen Raine

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