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Cowslip-Primula veris, the Key of Heaven

Cowslip-Primula veris, is a pretty wildflower in the genus Primula, native throughout most of temperate Europe and Asia.
In older days, Cowslip was frequently found on open fields and meadows but, unfortunately, the plant has been picked almost to extinction, due to its sedative properties.
As so many other wildflowers, it is known under many names in folklore. Some of these names are "Herb Peter", "Key of Heaven", "Key Flower".

Cowslip flowers - closeup photograph
Cowslip leaves are produced early in spring and they are very similar to that of a Primrose, but shorter and rounder. The leaves form a rosette that lies flat on the ground.
In April and May, a long stalk rises from the center of the leaf rosette, holding an umbel of 10-30 tiny, yellow flower. Each little flower has a separate little stalk, starting from the same point.
The flowers have a very distinctive, fresh fragrance.

Cowslip plant - Primula veris - flowers and leaves Small group of cowslip flowers in open field

In olden days, Cowslip flowers were in great request for home remedies, as well as for culinary purposes.

Culinary uses:

  • The flowers of cowslip contain a narcotic juice and are used in making the fermented liquor called Cowslip Wine.
  • Cowslip salad from the petals, with white sugar, is said to make an excellent and refreshing dish (in English cookery)
  • Young Cowslip leaves were at one time eaten as a salad green in Spanish cooking.

Medicinal uses:

  • Infusion of flowers is used to treat insomnia and restlessness, the flowers possessing antispasmodic and sedative properties.
    The above mentioned cowslip wine is said to be an excellent sedative.
  • Cowslip is considered beneficial in all paralytic ailments, hence its other name "Herba paralysis" or "Palsy Wort".
  • The roots are used in treating chronic bronchitis, febrile condition and flu.

Caution:

  • the plant is rich in salicylates, which have similar actions to aspirin. People with aspirin allergies are not advices to use it.
  • The saponins contained in the plant can be irritating as well.
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Alternative to MFS list - be a guest author

Old paper and pen - guest hostin
As many of you know already, Macro Flowers Saturday listing is closed, for now. We all need some space.
That doesn't mean I don't miss you on weekends. Therefor, I would like to present you a new alternative to MFS sharing: be a quest author!

This idea is yet very new, more details will follow but in a nutshell:

Topics for guest posts

I am looking for good-quality but simple, pleasant reading that fits the theme of this blog. Anything in the following subjects would be welcome:
  • flower care
  • your own gardening tips and ideas
  • gardening tools
  • garden design
  • photography tutorials
  • garden decor
  • you come up with some great ideas!

What’s in it for you?

  • You get a blog review with reference to your blog
  • Drive traffic to your website or blog and gain new audience.
  • Get more traffic to your blog
  • Increase your online presence.
  • Get some really dofollow backlinks to your blog

Main Guidelines

  • Your article must be original and exclusive for MFS.
  • Article must be written in English, as this blog's language.
  • Please attach some beautiful, small size pictures (2 max), relevant to the topic.
  • Post must be ~ 700 characters or more.
This is not the final version but if you already have a post that you think it's appropriate, please contact me through my contact form (from the menu) for further details.

A great weekend to you all!
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Friday the 13th-Eastern Orthodox Easter

Friday the 13th, what an interesting day!
Are you superstitious?

While for many superstitious people this day is the most feared day and date in history for others, today is the greatest holiday of the year.

Eastern Orthodox Christians, the second largest Christian denomination in the world, are marking the holy days this week, following the older, Julian calendar. Every few years, Western Easter (Catholic and Protestant) and Eastern Orthodox Easter coincide, but not this year.

Today, on Good Friday, Eastern Orthodox Christian pilgrims marched through the stone alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City to commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion more than 2,000 years ago.

Most Romanians being of Eastern Orthodox denomination, this is the "official" Easter in my country, being also a more "spectacular" holiday than the Western Easter, last week. I'm not Orthodox, but like to celebrate this second Easter as well. So, once again,

Happy Easter!
Pink cherry blossoms
The spiritual highlight of Eastern Orthodox Holy Week is the miracle of the Holy Fire, a flame that is said to appear spontaneously from the tomb of Jesus on the day before Easter. Thousands of pilgrims flock to Jerusalem for the Holy fire ceremony, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians).

The Holy Fire is brought to us, as well as to many other countries, by special flights from Jerusalem, every year.
The ceremony is broadcast live on Great Saturday night.

With this post, Macro Flowers Saturday comes to an end.
I want to thank everyone for their participation in Macro Flowers Saturday meme for the last two years.
The time has come to close this meme or at least to take a long break.
It has been a wonderful time for me, spent in the company of your lovely flowers.
If I'll ever decide to restart the meme, I'll bang all drums laud, so bookmark or follow this blog to hear the drums.


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Geranium molle-Dove's foot Cranesbill photos

Geranium molle is one of numerous members of the genus Geranium, a hardy geranium native to Europe and naturalized in southwestern and central Asia,in North Africa and also in North America

Geranium molle, also known as Dovesfoot Geranium, is a small, common weed, on average 5–30 centimeters (2.0–12 in) tall.
Dovesfoot Geranium grows on disturbed soils, on open areas, dry meadows, lawns and gardens and forms a groundcover among grasses.

Geranium molle flower macro-Dove's foot Cranesbill
Geranium molle leaves
Geranium molle blooms from April to September producing small (8-12 mm), pinkish-purple flowers.
The flowers have 5 petals divided into 2 lobes and they come in pairs at the end of the flower stem.

The leaves are palmate, rounded and hairy.

Geranium molle - Dovesfoot Cranesbill

Another pretty hardy geranium, often used as groundcover, is the Cranesbill geranium-Geranium macrorrhizum.
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White Alstroemeria photo on Black Friday

This week is Holy Week for western Christians.
Today, on Good Friday or Great Friday, girls are very busy in the kitchen.
Cooking, baking and egg painting for the family and friends are all our tasks and sometimes they can be fun, until it come to do the dishes.

With my laptop in the kitchen I'm trying to craft an Easter greeting card for you but there is nothing in the kitchen to inspire me; flowers and food don't always mix.

With this white Alstroemeria macro I wish you all a Happy Easter holidays with your family.

HAPPY EASTER!

Happy Easter
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Early spring colors

The unusually warm weather in March, up to 18-20C, got the garden plants off to an early start, but for some reason, spring flowering shrubs and trees are not budding yet.
Still, I saw today a flowering magnolia and forsythia shrubs are starting out too, slowly but surely.

I've find this cheerful forsythia shrub in a sunny place, protected by a building.
Forsythia-closeup photo
And guess what? Early, dwarf tulips are blooming as well.
Early tulip bud
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