Lords & Ladies, Arum maculatum


Lords and Ladies, also called Cuckoo Pint, Adam and Eve, Snakehead, or just Arum, is a very striking woodland plant with large vaguely arrowhead-shaped leaves and a very striking flower that is often described as a "cobra hood". It appears in the spring, before flowering in late Spring / Early Summer. In late Summer / early Autumn it produces a stalk of green and red berries. Lords and Ladies is an irritant, with the leaves containing many tiny sharp crystals that can be very painful and unpleasant if touched or eaten.

Possible Confusion & How to Stay Safe

Lords and Ladies has vaguely similar leaves to Wild Garlic when young, and grows in similar environments. It has rounded lobes at the base of each leaf, which Wild Garlic Lacks. It also lacks the pungent garlic aroma. Later in the season, the distinctive cobra-hood flower of Lords and Ladies is also another key indicator that's it not Wild Garlic.

The leaves of Lords & Ladies could also be confused with those of Common Sorrel, a tart and rather tasty edible, due to the presence of lobes at the base of each leaf in both species. As with Wild Garlic, the easiest way of distinguishing the two species is by looking at their flowers, which are very different. Common Sorrel has tall, thin flower stalks with very small, unassuming, reddish-brown flowers, whereas Lords & Ladies' Cobra-hood is very unique. When young, or before flowering, the best method of distinguishing to the two is by looking at lobes themselves, which are sharp and accute in Common Sorrel, and large and rounded in Lords and Ladies.

The leaves of Wild Garlic do not have lobes at their base and the flowers are completely different.

The lobes at the base of Common Sorrel are sharp tails, as opposed to the rounded lobes of Lords & Ladies.