Lady's Smock

Cardamine pratensis

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Lady's Smock


Lady’s smock is also commonly known as cuckoo flower because it coincides with the arrival of the first cuckoo.

How to identify

The lilac or white flowers are 1 to 2 cm across with four petals. It has blue-green coloured upright stems with very narrow leaves in a rosette at its base.

Where to find it

Damp grassland, ditches, roadside verges.


When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June

How can people help

Only 1,600 hectares of floodplain meadows are left within the whole of the UK, in a landscape which was abundant with this habitat. Cuckoo flowers, once common, are therefore becoming a rarer sight. The Wildlife Trusts look after many meadow and wetland habitats for the benefit of local wildlife and are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices in these areas. You can support this vital work by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Lady's Smock
Latin name
Cardamine pratensis
The plant can grow up to 60cm tall.
Conservation status