Lady's Smock, Cardamine pratensis
Lady's Smock, also called Cuckoo Flower, Mayflower, or Milkmaids, is a flowering plant in the Cardamine Genus, native throughout most of Europe and Western Asia. The Latin specific name pratensis means "meadow", Which is where you're most likely to find this little gem of a herb. A very pretty plant, Lady's Smock has a wonderful flavour, being at first sweet, fruity and voilet-like, followed by a wasabi-like burning heat. The flowers, stalk and leaves are all edible and make a fantastic and pretty addition to any dish, used either as a garnish or herb.
Lady's Smock Checklist
🐑 Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🏡 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🌸🌞🍂❄️ Jan - Dec
☘️ It has thin, green, elongated and slighty toothed leaves that grow from opposite sides of a stem. The leaves appear thinner further up the main stem. Baal leaves (those at the base of the stem) are often more oval and can be found all year round.
🌷 Pretty, pale pink, cross-shaped flowers with four oval petals and yellow central stamens. Purple veins can be seen on the petals. The flowers grow from a circular crown at the top of the plant and fold closed at night.
🌱 long, thin , green and hairless.
Aroma / Taste
👃 Indistinct Aroma.
👅 The Leaves, stem and flowers of this plant are sweet and candy-like, with a wasabi / mustard aftertaste.
🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 The crown of cross-shaped oval flowers are a key identifier of this plant.
🥗 Salad - Leaves and flowers can be eaten raw and added to salads.
🌺 Garnish - Leaves and flowers can be used as a garnish.
🌿 Herb - Leaves and flowers can be used to add flavour or as a pot-herb.