Every year a round this time I get asked the same question, ‘what are those things that stick up appearing in all the hedgerows?’ I know exactly what they mean, it’s a plant called ‘Cuckoo Pint’ and it has dozens of other names depending where you are in the country. The latin name is Arum maculatum.
The leaves appear in the depths of the Winter, they look tender and vulnerable but seem to take the harshest weather in their stride. Then, around the end of April up pops the spadix with it’s hood neatly showcasing it. The actual flowers are tiny and deep inside the closed up area below the spadix. Pollination is by insects, mostly flies attracted by the smell and warmth generated by the spadix.
In the Autumn you’ll see the fruits, clusters of bright red berries – don’t touch as they can cause allergic reactions.