|Cuckoo Flower, Cardamine pratensis|
As May approaches, so the Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine pratensis) blossoms. This perennial of damp grassland and stream sides has the most wonderful blush-purple flowers atop a stem rising at most 55 cm from a basal rosette of leaves (1). C. pratensis is actually a species complex, comprising a group of species with marked karyological and morphological variation that cover its large range, from Asia, Europe, North Africa and North America (2).Being a plant often present in grazing areas, C. pratensis has the ability to regenerate readily from any damage caused. Adventitious buds on the leaves result in the creation of a 'bud bank' in areas (3). A bud bank is an accumulation of dormant buds in the soil which serves to as a source of plant asexual regeneration after disturbance. When used in concert with seed banks, bud banks of C. pratensis allow the survival and proliferation of populations of the plant.
- Phillips, 1977. Wild Flowers of Britain p. 18
- Lihovál et al., 2003. Taxon 52 pp. 783-801
- Klimešová and Klimš, 2007. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 8 pp. 115–129