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Cuckooflower
Cuckooflower
Cuckooflower
Cuckooflower
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Cuckooflower
Cardamine pratensis
Also known as: Lady's smock, Whitsuntide gilliflower
Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis) is a perennial wildflower that blooms in the springtime. In the natural ecosystem, it is important as the prime food source for caterpillars of the orange-tip and the green-veined white butterfly. It is commonly found growing in wet grassland areas and near ponds and streams. Because cuckooflower flowers were said to be sacred to fairies, it was considered bad luck to bring them indoors.
Sunlight
Partial sun
Sunlight
plant_info

More Info

Flower Color
Flower Color
White
Pink
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Spring, Summer
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green

Name story

Cuckooflower||Cuckoo bittercress
Cardamine pratensis appears in the spring around the same time when a cuckoo starts to call, so it's believed that this is where the common name cuckooflower comes from. The plant is often covered in the foam of froghopper, which looks like a cuckoo's spit, so this has been one of the explanations for the name, as well.

Usages

Garden Use
With its irregular patterns of small white flowers, cuckooflower gives a homey look to a landscape. It's suitable for flower borders and beds in cottage, informal, and wildflower gardens. Because of its tolerance to shade and moisture, it's an ideal choice for woodland and bog gardens as well. It can tolerate rocky areas, but not full sun, so cuckooflower should be planted in shaded areas and borders in rock gardens.
distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Wet meadows, marshes, margins of ponds, along streams, seacoasts, swamps
distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
habit
question

Questions About Cuckooflower

Pruning Pruning Pruning
Do I Need to Prune My Cuckooflower?
Cuckooflower does not need a lot of maintenance including pruning, which is part of what makes it such a popular choice. Most often, Cuckooflower is pruned to remove damaged or dead branches. You may also choose to remove some branches to improve the appearance of the Cuckooflower or to improve clearance under it. If there are branches that are very crowded together, air flow may be restricted. Any branches that are rubbing together could wear away the bark and allow disease or insects to penetrate the Cuckooflower, so those branches are also good candidates for pruning.
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How to Prune Cuckooflower?
The first step is deciding where to cut. It is a good idea to identify which branches you want to prune before taking other steps so you know which tools you need and have a plan from the beginning. You may want to mark branches with string or tape so you don’t forget where you had planned to prune each branch.

After you have decided where to cut, prepare the tools. Many Cuckooflower branches are thin and delicate, so you may be able to use regular pruning shears. If there are larger branches, you should use loppers or a pruning saw. A pole saw may be necessary if the branches are higher up. Your cutting implement should be sterilized with disinfectant or a diluted bleach solution before use and between cuts to avoid introducing pathogens to the wound when pruning. Also be sure to wear protective gear to avoid injuring yourself during this process.

Removing large branches (structural pruning) from your Cuckooflower is best done during the dormant period in the winter, while late winter or early spring is the best time for minor maintenance pruning. The ideal timing is when the Cuckooflower has developed buds but the buds have not opened yet. This timing makes it easy for you to find which branches are not productive and should be removed, since those branches won’t have any buds. Pruning at the beginning of the growing season allows the plant to have the whole summer to devote to putting new growth into the remaining branches, flowers, and leaves.

You can also prune it into a shape you like, but don't prune over 1/4 of the healthy branches and leaves of the Cuckooflower. Over pruning will hinder the normal and healthy growth of this plant. Please make sure that the cuts are clean and tidy.

When Cuckooflower grows, if there is aging yellowing leaves and diseased leaves, you need to prune the bottom of the yellowing aging leaves and leaves with spots caused by the infection of disease. Pruning can effectively reduce the infection of disease. Even if the number of leaves with infections is relatively large, you should not prune more than 30% of the total number of leaves to avoid affecting the growth of Cuckooflower.
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What Tips You Should Be Aware About When Pruning Cuckooflower?
Remove no more than 30% of the volume of the Cuckooflower when pruning. Pruning too much at once can leave the Cuckooflower vulnerable to shock. This plant does not tolerate being cut back severely and may not recover. Don’t prune young Cuckooflower unless it is to remove a dead or damaged branch.

In between cuts, step back and check the appearance of the Cuckooflower and be sure that you are satisfied with the progress. If you trim too much at once, there’s no way to restore the cut branches, so be conservative with your approach. One of the charms of Cuckooflower is its graceful, natural appearance, so you may want to embrace some of the “imperfections” inherent to how it grows.
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When Should I Prune Your Cuckooflower?
Removing large branches (structural pruning) from the Cuckooflower is best done during the dormant period in the winter, while late winter or early spring is the best time for minor maintenance pruning. The ideal timing is when the Cuckooflower has developed buds but the buds have not opened yet. This timing makes it easy for you to find which branches are not productive and should be removed, since those branches won’t have any buds. Pruning at the beginning of the growing season allows the Cuckooflower to have the whole summer to devote to putting new growth into the remaining branches, flowers, and leaves.
You can also prune it into a shape you like, but don't prune over 1/4 of the healthy branches and leaves of the Cuckooflower. Over pruning will hinder the normal and healthy growth of this plant. Please make sure that the cuts are clean and tidy.

When Cuckooflower grows, if there is aging yellowing leaves and diseased leaves, you need to prune the bottom of the yellowing aging leaves and leaves with spots caused by the infection of disease. Pruning can effectively reduce the infection of disease. Even if the number of leaves with infections is relatively large, you should not prune more than 30% of the total number of leaves to avoid affecting the growth of Cuckooflower.
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Seed box (Ludwigia hyssopifolia) is so-named because just one plant can produce a quarter of a million seeds. This abundance of seeds means that seed box has spread abundantly over much of the tropical and sub-tropical world, and it is classed as an invasive weed in many countries. This aggressive weed is particularly invasive in rice paddy fields. Given its fecundity, this plant has no practical use.
Purple milkweed
Purple milkweed
Purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) looks much like common milkweed. However, common milkweed has grayish-pink flowers, and purple milkweed has reddish-purple ones. It’s difficult to grow in a garden and a rare find in the wild. The genus name of “Asclepias” comes from the Greed god of medicine. “Purpurascens” means “purple."
Prostrate knotweed
Prostrate knotweed
Prostrate knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) is a low-growing species that can root practically anywhere. It produces many small white flowers each summer and produces plenty of seeds that can survive for years. Its seeds can lay dormant in soils, and once they see sunlight, they will start to germinate. Because it grows so dwarf, mowing is not effective in removing it.
Poke milkweed
Poke milkweed
Poke milkweed is found naturally in many woodlands and grows well in partial shade. Monarchs and rabbits alike enjoy feeding on its foliage. This plant is not invasive, but it is long-lived.
Mouse ear chickweed
Mouse ear chickweed
Mouse ear chickweed (Cerastium fontanum) is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe, most commonly in Great Britain and Ireland. Mouse ear chickweed is commonly seen naturally growing alongside roadsides and adjacent grasslands. The specific epithet "fontanum" from its scientific name means "fountain", naming after their preference of damping soil and streamsides.
Milkmaids
Milkmaids
Milkmaids are perennial wildflowers that respond to their environment. In the late afternoon, when the sun begins to go down, this little plant closes up its blooms. And before a rain, it bows its flowerhead to protect its pollen. It is one of the earliest wildflowers to bloom.
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About
More Info
Distribution
Care FAQ
Related Plants
Related Articles
Cuckooflower
Cuckooflower
Cuckooflower
Cuckooflower
Cuckooflower
Cuckooflower
Add to My Garden
Cuckooflower
Cardamine pratensis
Also known as: Lady's smock, Whitsuntide gilliflower
Sunlight
Partial sun
Sunlight
plant_info

More Info

Flower Color
Flower Color
White
Pink
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Spring, Summer
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green

Name story

Cuckooflower||Cuckoo bittercress
Cardamine pratensis appears in the spring around the same time when a cuckoo starts to call, so it's believed that this is where the common name cuckooflower comes from. The plant is often covered in the foam of froghopper, which looks like a cuckoo's spit, so this has been one of the explanations for the name, as well.

Usages

Garden Use
With its irregular patterns of small white flowers, cuckooflower gives a homey look to a landscape. It's suitable for flower borders and beds in cottage, informal, and wildflower gardens. Because of its tolerance to shade and moisture, it's an ideal choice for woodland and bog gardens as well. It can tolerate rocky areas, but not full sun, so cuckooflower should be planted in shaded areas and borders in rock gardens.
distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Wet meadows, marshes, margins of ponds, along streams, seacoasts, swamps

Map

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
question

Questions About Cuckooflower

Pruning Pruning Pruning
Do I Need to Prune My Cuckooflower?
more
Free
How to Prune Cuckooflower?
more
lock
What Tips You Should Be Aware About When Pruning Cuckooflower?
more
lock
When Should I Prune Your Cuckooflower?
more
lock
buy vip bg
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.
Let us help take all the guesswork out of your gardening.
article

Related Articles

Most Common Herb
# Useful Tips
Most Common Herb
Best Perennial Plant to Grow
# Useful Tips
Best Perennial Plant to Grow
Best Perennial Plant to Grow
# Useful Tips
Best Perennial Plant to Grow
Most Common Herb
# Useful Tips
Most Common Herb
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