lady's smock / cuckoo flower
- Position: full or partial shade
- Soil: humus-rich moist soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: April to May
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This variable perennial can be found colonising cool, shady spots where there is a reliable source of water. They have attractively divided foliage, which will often produce new plantlets at the base of the leaflets, and in late spring or early summer, showy clusters of lilac-pink, purple or white flowers top the upright stems. Plant them in bold drifts in wet meadows, woodland or at the edges of a pond. They also work well in boggy ground in a shady herbaceous border.
- Garden care: Surface sow into small pots or plugs filled with good compost and gently firm down. Keep under glass where temperatures can be maintained at 20°C, and keep the compost moist but not waterlogged at all times. When large enough to handle pot on and gradually harden off before planting outside at 30cm intervals. Outdoor sowings can be undertaken when temperatures are warm into a well-prepared, weed-free seedbed. Once the young plantlets have developed on the leaflets, they can be removed from the mother plant and planted out.
- Sow: August - September or March -May
- Flowering: April - May
- Approximate quantity: 250 seeds