“When daisies pied and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight”
Cardamine pratensis known as lady's smock was considered to be a fairy flower and for this reason was never taken into the house. It was never used in May Day garlands or wedding bouquets for if it was then ‘surely the fairies would steal you away and be never seen again.’
Being one of the large mustard family the plant was used as a substitute for water cress having a similar peppery taste.
It was named Cuckoo Flower because its flowers appeared when the cuckoo started to sing.
Sometimes referred to as Our Lady's Smock and said to represent the Virgin Mary in Christianity.
Other names include: Milkmaids, Lady's Smock, Cuckoo Flower, Bread and Milk and Meadow Cress.
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