Ladies Smock / All Year Round / Edible
Identification Guide for Ladies Smock
A perennial member of the Brassica family, with a delicious mustardy taste.
Ladies Smock, Cuckoo flower, Mayflower or Milkmaids.
Kingdom – Plantae
Order – Brassicales
Family – Brassicaceae
Physical Characteristics for Ladies Smock
The plant grows as a rosette. The leaves are compound, pinnate and around 5-12 cm long, made up of 6-15 leaflets.
The flowers appear on a long, thin spike. They are pinkish to white and arranged in the typical cruciform pattern like other Brassicas.
The seeds appear after the flowers drop and are long and thin.
They seem to prefer damp ground and can be found in ditches, river banks, hedgerows and parks.
Could be Confused with…
It could be confused with other Cardimines but they are all edible.
All of the aerial parts are edible and can be used raw as a substitute for rocket or cooked like spinach.
Notes on Herbal Uses
Traditionally a tea made from the leaves was used as a springtime tonic or for menstrual issues, for example, to treat a heavy period.
Extra notes from the Foragers
The common name Cuckoo Flower refers to the time of year the plant flowers in early spring the same time that cuckoo’s appear.