Sunday, 1 May 2011

Cuckoo Pint

Cuckoo Pint
The plant Wild Arum, Arum maculatum, is one of the plants with the most English vernacular names. These include Cuckoo Pint, Lords-and-Ladies, Parson in the Pulpit, Red-hot Poker, Adam-and-Eve, Naked Boys, Willy Lily, Devils and Angels and many more. Some of the names have obvious connections with the appearance of the plant! The true flowers of this plant are at the base of the purple, rod-like spadix. A ring of hairs surrounding the base of the spadix acts as an insect trap forcing the visiting insects into the flowers where they collect (or deliver) the pollen. In autumn, the bright orange-red berries make the plant very obvious. These berries are very poisonous but no-one is likely to eat them as they are very bitter and cause a near instant tongue irritation.
(Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-70mm @44mm, 1/100s @ f/5.0)

2 comments:

  1. A superb example of this grand plant. In the Lake District there is a variety with a yellow spadix. Thanks for the latter word not one I've heard before.

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  2. The variety with the yellow spadix is probably Large Cuckoo Pint (Arum Italicum). I think I'm going to start using the name "Willy Lily" from now on!

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