Species: Lords-and-Ladies or Cuckoo Pint (Arum maculatum)

Family: Arums (ARACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Arums (ARACEAE)

In this family flowers are borne on a type of inflorescence called a spadix, usually enveloped by a spathe or leaf-like bract.

C. Lords-and-Ladies or Cuckoo Pint (Arum maculatum)

This native woodland plant produces flowers from April, followed by toxic orange-red berries. It was claimed to be an aphrodisiac, because of the phallic shape of the spadix. Girls believed it would make them pregnant if they so much as touched it. It is in fact poisonous, and adders were said to get their poison from it. It was believed to give tuberculosis if brought into the house. The roots are very starchy, and the starch was extracted and used for collars and ruffs, especially in Elizabethan times.

Images

Lords-and-Ladies or Cuckoo Pint

The roots are very starchy, and the starch was extracted and used for collars and ruffs, especially in Elizabethan times.

Lords-and-Ladies or Cuckoo Pint

Lords-and-Ladies or Cuckoo Pint produces flowers from April, followed by toxic orange-red berries.