Arum maculatum, or Lords and Ladies, is a woodland wildflower.

These beautiful bright red berries belong to the cuckoo pint, or Lords and Ladies, or whatever funny name you fancy giving Arum maculatum.


A beautiful cluster of red berries in the corner of our wild patch looks so strange and alien. The fruits of the cuckoo pint appear alone, once the leaves have died away.

arum maculatum

Those leaves are pretty in their own right, arrow-shaped and shiny, with the odd black blotch on them.

What is really odd is the flower that precedes these wonderful fruits.

jack in the pulpit

The club-shaped spike earns the arum lily another one of its funny names, which is Jack-in-the-pulpit, though whoever Jack was, he probably didn’t take this as a compliment. The spike emits a urine-like odour to attract flies for pollination.

cuckoo pint flowers

I hope that these cuckoo pints spread happily under the trees at the top of the garden – though I shall have to keep children away from them as though their berries are pretty, they are poisonous.

lords and ladies

Wild Flower Hour takes place every Sunday at 8pm on twitter and Instagram. Just add #wildflowerhour to your tweets of photos of flowers you’ve found at any time during the week or weekend, and do join the conversation at 8pm on Sunday so that wild flower enthusiasts can find one another and learn more about our amazing native flora.

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