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Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo flower)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
0.5m
Max height
0.5m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Cardamine pratensis

Other names

Cuckoo flower, Spinks, Spring cress, Mayflower, Meadow bittercress, Meadow cress, Cuckoo buds, Cuckoo spit, Lady's flower, Lady's smock, Bread and milk, Cuckoo bread

Genus

Cardamine Cardamine

Species

C. pratensis - C. pratensis has rounded leaflets, with erect leafy stems bearing short open racemes of pale pink or white flowers.


Cardamine pratensis is: Deciduous

Habit

Upright

Flower

Pale-pink, White in Spring

Foliage

Green in Spring

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Flea beetles Aphids , Flea beetles

Diseases

Generally disease free.

General care

Pruning

No pruning required.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed


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Where to grow

Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo flower) will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Meadow, Wildflower, Wildlife

Cultivation

Does well in most soils in sheltered situations. Do not plant in full sun. Appropriate for planting in a flower border, rock garden or woodland.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Shade

Aspect

North, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Cardamine pratensis

Other names

Cuckoo flower, Spinks, Spring cress, Mayflower, Meadow bittercress, Meadow cress, Cuckoo buds, Cuckoo spit, Lady's flower, Lady's smock, Bread and milk, Cuckoo bread

Genus

Cardamine Cardamine

Species

C. pratensis - C. pratensis has rounded leaflets, with erect leafy stems bearing short open racemes of pale pink or white flowers.

Native to

Europe

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Upright


Colour

Flower

Pale-pink, White in Spring

Foliage

Green in Spring


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Flea beetles

Diseases

Generally disease free.

General care

Pruning

No pruning required.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo flower) will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Meadow, Wildflower, Wildlife

Cultivation

Does well in most soils in sheltered situations. Do not plant in full sun. Appropriate for planting in a flower border, rock garden or woodland.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Shade

Aspect

North, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo flower)

Common pest name

Cassava whitefly; Cotton whitefly; Sweet potato whitefly; Tobacco whitefly

Scientific pest name

Bemisia tabaci non-European populations

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Non-European populations of Bemisia tabaci pose an additional risk to European populations due to the potential for introducing non-European viruses.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo flower)

Common pest name

Cassava whitefly; Cotton whitefly; Sweet potato whitefly; Tobacco whitefly

Scientific pest name

Bemisia tabaci European populations

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

The UK has a protected zone in place for this pest which helps to mitigate the risk of entry and establishment. An EFSA opinion is currently being discussed at the EU Annexes Working Group which recommends further strengthening of the regulation.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo flower)

Common pest name

Lance nematode; Nematode; Lance

Scientific pest name

Hoplolaimus spp.

Type

Nematode

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Nematode species potentially affecting a wide variety of crops; prohibition of soil likely to mitigate risk substantially; keep under review in light of interceptions or findings should they occur in the EU.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Shade Tell us...
Aspect: North, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Cardamine pratensis

It grows well with other meadow plants, such as ragged-robin, marsh marigold, snake's head fritillary, cowslip and bugle. It is one of the main food plants for the orange tip butterfly. read more

There are 3 active discussions about Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo flower)

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The Hartley Botanic Garden

Hartley Botanic has exhibited stunning trade stands at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for nearly sixty years. For 2016, however, MD Johnny Mobasher is taking their presence at the event to the next… read more


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