Scientific Classifications explained
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Common Name(s): Cuckoo Flower
Scientific Name: Cardamine pratensis
Cardamine pratensis, the Cuckoo Flower, like its namesake the cuckoo, comes in April, but May and June are the months when cuckoo flowers bloom in greatest profusion. It is a member of the family Brassicaceae, native throughout most of Europe and Western Asia. A herbaceous perennial plant growing to 40-60 cm tall, it has with pinnate leaves 5-12 cm long with 3-15 leaflets, each leaflet about 1 cm long. The flowers are produced on a spike 10-30 cm long, each flower 1-2 cm diameter with four pale pink (sometimes white) petals. It is a food plant for the Orange Tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines) and makes a valuable addition to any garden which aims at attracting wildlife. The Meadow Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius) is attracted to the sap of these plants, and its larvae form frothy blobs on the stems (cuckoo spit).
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