This week I have chosen a very pretty wild flower to share, with a pretty name too: Lady’s Smock, or Cardamine pratensis.
These delicate looking flowers nod their heads above tall grass in damp meadows, which is why it has reappeared here this spring after our rather wet winter. And I am so glad to see it.
This is another edible wild flower, full of vitamin C, and quite peppery. It is also called the Cuckoo Flower, perhaps because it flowers just as the first cuckoos are commonly heard. (I haven’t heard a cuckoo yet). The name may, however, be due to the ‘cuckoo spit’ often found on it – produced by spittlebugs which produce a kind of foam around their larvae as protection. The German name reflects this: ‘Schaumkraut’ – ‘foam weed’.
The colour varies from almost white to a soft lilac. The one above grows in partial shade and is paler than the ones in the full sun. It is a valuable food plant for the Orange Tip butterflies, as well as for various bees including wild bees and for bee flies and other butterflies.
The Flower Fairy’s poem describes it as ‘Dainty as a fairy’s frock’. And that is, I find, a perfect description. 😃
If anyone would like to join me on a Wednesday in posting about weeds/wild flowers in your garden, just leave a comment with a link below. Thanks for reading!