Cuckoo-Pint in the Lawn

I went on a garden visit recently and came across a very unusal little plant sitting underneath a group of mature apple trees. The plant had no leaves what so ever to be seen and just had a stalk that was adorned with vibrant red berries.



When I first saw it I thought the berries resembled holly berries but of course it could not be holly! I decided to take a quick photo of it and to look it up once I got home.

As I moved on around the garden, I pushed it to the back of my head and drooled over all the flowers on show. Just as I had stopped thinking about the spikes of berries and trying to figure out what it was, I stumbled across an other clump of it. This time it was poking out from some box hedging.

cuckoo-pint2Now I really wanted to know what it was called as the more I seen it, the more I began to like it. After a quick search online I discovered it is called Cuckoo-Pint or Lords-and-Ladies. During spring it has very similar flowers and leaves to Skunk Cabbage below, except its flowers are a subtle shade of green compared to the vivid yellow of the Skunk Cabbage.


Cuckoo-Pint is native to Ireland and the berries appear in early July and usally last until the end of August or the start of September. It is important to point out that even though the berries are very attractive they are extremely poisonous so it best not to even touch them.

Since I discovered it’s name, I have spotted this lovely plant all over the sides of roads and along hedgerows. I will have to keep an eye out next spring for its flowers