Wild and Weedy Wednesday: 10th May, 2023

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 – ย 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. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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!




32 thoughts on “Wild and Weedy Wednesday: 10th May, 2023

  1. Another name here is Ladies Smock.
    Very pretty.
    I’m currently enjoying red campions in my garden – I let a few stay in the borders as I love the colour (pink!).

  2. Oooh Cathy that cardamine is beautiful, so dainty. I’m not sure I’ve seen any around here. But there are plenty of weeds that seem to love my chalky soil. I try to have a few wild areas around the garden but the wild plants don’t always understand my instructions to stay in those areas ! ๐Ÿ˜‰ In my latest blog article I feature a blue fence whose initial purpose was to separate the nettles, brambles and bryony from the more “civilised” plants. So naรฏve !

    • Our last garden was only about 45 minutes from here, but with very chalky soil, while here it is borderline acid. And I really notice a difference in what wild flowers grow. No Hepatica or Echium will grow here, but wild lupins and broom are profuse. I have tried subscribing to your blog without success… I just get an error message. Any tips?

      • Yes the platform for my blog informed me that they would no longer be notifying readers of new articles a few months ago. It’s a real nuisance and the only thing I can suggest is to have a look to see if anything’s new when I post a comment on your blog. Sorry about that !

  3. I’ve got plenty of spittlebugs but, sadly, no Cardamine. As the genus doesn’t even appear in my western garden guide, I’m guessing it doesn’t grow here. It looks lovely scattered among the dandelions.

    • It likes cool damp meadows, so probably wouldn’t like your climate Kris. I also think it is one of those flowers that will only grow where IT wants to grow! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. It is indeed a charming little flower. And to think it is is edible as well! Isn’t it wonderful to see wildflowers appearing after a season of rain!

  5. It looks so delicate–“fairy’s frock” must be right! It’s not a wildflower I’ve ever seen; probably it’s one that hasn’t been introduced this side of the pond. What a charmer!
    My sister encouraged me to photograph one of our rather unusual wild desert vignettes this afternoon, so that is what I am posting today:

    • It is amazing just how much IS edible Amelia! We have recently started reading up on all the weeds and wild flowers around us that can be eaten or have medicinal uses and there is something for almost any ailment within our reach. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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