Lords and Ladies

  • Irish name: Cluas Chaoin

  • Scientific name: Arum Maculata

These native plants are commonly found in shady hedges, woodland and laneways. It has spear shaped leaves and the flowers, which appear in April – May, are enclosed in a spathe which is cowl shaped. The flowers have a foul smell which attract the pollinating insects like flies. After pollination the plant produces red berries. All parts of this plant are extremely poisonous. Lords and Ladies are also known as Cuckoo-pint and Starchwort. The name Starchwort came about in the Elizabethan era when the starch from the roots were used to stiffen the ruffs ,( frilly collars) of that period. The starch was apparently bad for the laundresses as their hands became chapped and sore.