Friday, 1 May 2015

Cuckoo

We started  another new month with a walk through Shipley Park in the sunshine, but with a stiff and chilly breeze still taking the edge off things. as we crossed the meadows to the north of Shipley Hill, we were greeted by the sight of  several small patches of Cuckoo Flowers (Cardamine pratensis).
This pretty spring flower sometimes goes by the name of Lady's Smock but gets its name of Cuckoo Flower by its habit of coming into flower just at the time when the Cuckoos are returning for the summer.
A member of the Brassicaceae or Cabbage family, it is quite common in the UK and is a favourite food plant of several species of butterfly, especially the Orange Tip, whose scientific name Anthocharis cardamines is derived from the plant.
Cuckoo Flowers are supposed to be sacred to Fairies and as such, bad luck would befall anyone who picked the flower for use in May Day garlands or who took it indoors.
A nice way to start the new month.
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