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‘Any flower that comes with a host of local names is likely to be of human use, either as food or as medicine’, writes John Lewis-Stempel, in his truly wonderful book Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field (Doubleday, London, 2014; highly recommended, if you haven’t already read it). And he goes on to mention just a few of the local names that have been given to Cardamine pratensis, namely Cuckooflower (because the pale pink flowers tend to appear around the same time the Cuckoo returns to Britain from its winter sojourn in warmer climes); and Lady’s smock, Lady’s gloves, and Lady’s mantle (due to the flower’s resemblance to those articles of clothing) (though I don’t really see the gloves).

Lewis-Stempel also notes the vernacular Meadow bittercress, so named because ‘the needle-thin leaves … make a peppery edible that used to be sold on medieval market stalls’, which I never knew before. I also didn’t realise that Cuckooflower is the food plant of the caterpillar of the Orange-tip butterfly – reason enough for me not to eat those peppery leaves as I’d love to see more Orange-tips fluttering around.