This week my plant of the week is called the Cuckooflower or Lady’s-smock or Cardamine pratense, it can be found all along the drive as you approach the manor, popping up in small clusters in our meadow and orchard as well as in the woods on the surrounding estate. It has four pale lilac petals to each flower on its delicate tall stems that pop up through the surrounding vegetation. I would imagine its growing habit gave it the more descriptive of its common names.
This is a widespread but important wildflower that is the larval food of the Orange Tip butterfly. A beautiful and delicate butterfly but only the males have the orange tip that give it its name. And a word of advice to those who are superstitious, it is said in folklore that it is a sacred plant of the fairies and that it would be unlucky if it were to be brought indoors.
Words and photographs by Phil
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