Lady's Smock in Castle Green

This charming flower, which ranges in colour from white to mauve, is said to come into bloom with the arrival of the cuckoo (although the popular name is applied also to a number of other April/May flowers, including the Bluebell and the Red Campion). Another common name for this plant is Lady's Smock - the word "smock" once meant a girl or woman, so the name may mean "lady's maid". In some parts of the country, it is called Milkmaids. It is an important plant for the little Orange-tip butterfly, which often chooses to lay its eggs there, and the growing caterpillars rely on it for food. It is found in damp grassland, in meadows or hedge-bottoms and this year (2005) there has been a notable increase in its numbers in Sulgrave village. It may be seen, for example, on the green by the stocks, near the bus-shelter, in the churchyard, on Castle Green and in the Pocket Park. These locations, together with others further afield where it may be seen on meadow land adjoining footpaths, are shown on the attached map.

Images produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service.
Images reproduced by kind permission of Ordnance Survey
and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Notes by George Metcalfe. Photos by Colin Wootton.