Cardamine pratensis - Cuckoo Flower

Cuckoo Flower, Cardamine pratensis

Taxonomy

Phylum: Anthophyta

Class: Equisetopsida

Order: Brassicales

Family: Brassicaceae

Lady's Smock and Milkmaids are two other common names for this spring flower of meadows and riverbanks. The flowers droop and close up at night or during heavy rain.

This flower, like its namesake the cuckoo itself, comes in April, but May and June are the months when cuckoo flowers bloom in greatest profusion.

 

 

Cuckoo Flower, closeup picture

The Meadow Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius) is attracted to the sap of these plants, and its larvae form frothy blobs on the stems; some people call this cuckoo spit.

Cuckoo Flower, Cardamine pratensis, beside a hedge

A beautiful pink form of Cuckoo Flower