Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis)

Walk through any of the meadows alongside our Dorset rivers about now and you will almost certainly see the Cuckooflower; so named as it flowers around the same time as the Cuckoo returns to our shores in spring.

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.

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