Lords and Ladies or Cuckoo Pint is a native perennial with a fleshy starchy root. Its shiny arrow shaped leaves emerge very early in spring, usually in hedge bottoms and path edges. Quite often the leaves are are marked with black spots. Late spring or early summer the flowers appear – a purplish spike of tiny globular flowers partially encased by a loose pale green ‘spathe’ or hood. When the spathe shrivels up, later in the summer, the spike is left exposed, bearing closely arranged, bright orange berries. These are really attractive but highly poisonous! The whole plant dies down in mid autumn. It needs no maintenance and is really useful for shade, needing no sun to thrive.
Seed from Cheshire