Cuckoo Pint Overview
Arum maculatum is a tuberous perennial species from the Araceae family. It is commonly known by many names including Lords and Ladies and Cuckoo Pint. This plant is found throughout British and European woodlands, first appearing in spring, sprouting from the ground with shiny green arrow-shaped leaves with dark purple spots. The flowers appear shortly after the foliage, at the base, a poker-shaped, purple spadix appears. This is surrounded by a pale green leaf-like hood. In autumn, bright red and orange berries are borne on short spikes. Arum maculatum is a great addition to any woodland or shade garden with its interesting flower form and bright berries. It can however dominate gardens as it readily self-seeds and may also be spread through rhizome fragments. This species can take over gardens, plant with care!
How to harvest Cuckoo Pint
Berries can be stripped in Autumn once they have fully ripened and seeds removed with care.
How to propagate Cuckoo Pint
Propagate by dividing tubers after flowering when they have become dormant in the Autumn. Tubers can be as deep as 400 mm below the surface and should be handled with care, this is a poisonous plant.
Seeds should be sown as soon as they have ripened in the Autumn. The fleshy part of the berry should be removed and the seed sown at a depth twice its size. Self seeding may become a problem.
Special features of Cuckoo Pint
Bright red and orange berries stand alone on their short spikes in Autumn.
Other uses of Cuckoo Pint
Suits informal cottage gardens in flower borders/beds or under large shrubs/trees. It is occasionally used for flower arranging.