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Cuckooflower


A common plant of damp places and can be found along ditches and damp woodland as well as water meadows. 

 

  • Cuckooflower: the ladys smock

    Post date: Saturday, 10 September, 2016 - 20:29
    Walk through any of the meadows alongside our Dorset rivers in April and May and you will almost certainly see the cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis) so named as it flowers around the same time as the cuckoo returns to our shores in spring and is found in similar places that the cuckoo chooses to look for its host species nests to lay its eggs in. Also known as lady's smock, this a common plant of damp places and can be found along ditches and damp woodland as well as water meadows. The flowers of the cuckooflower are a very pale mauve/pink. 
     
    This is a favourite food plant of the orange tip butterfly and if you watch closely for a while you will see orange tips laying eggs on the plants. After the butterfly has gone, take a look on the plant stem and you will see a small egg, appropriately orange in colour.
     
    Apparently, this flower is supposedly sacred to fairies and it is very unlucky to bring it in to your house so leave it well alone!

Common Name Cuckooflower
Alternative Name(s) Lady's Smock
Scientific Name Cardamine pratensis
Species Group Cabbage Family Crucifereae
Status
Interest Level
2
Visabile
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Cabbage family - Cruciferae
Status Locally common
Flower Colour Group White
Visible
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
Preferred Environment
Look for Attractive white flowers in damp meadows
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Cabbage Family Crucifereae