Monday, February 10, 2014

Our Lady's Smock

Among the flowers associated with the upcoming Feast of the Annunciation in the old English table of flowers is Our Lady's Smock.  Its botanical name is Cardamine Pratensis.  In the secular world it is called "Lady's Smock" or the "cuckoo flower".

Secular sources will also tell you that it is called simply "Lady's Smock" (without the "Our") because the blossoms look like women's smocks.  But the origin of the name is definitely in Marian devotion.  "Lady-Tide" is a name for the feast of the Annunciation in England and an old verse says:
"Then comes the Daffodil aside Our Lady's Smock at our Lady-Tide". 
Image:  Our Lady's Smock growing in UK. From Wikimedia Commons.  In the public domain.

Source for textElizabeth Lawrence, Through the Garden Gate, p. 49.

1 comment:

Gemma said...

Coincidentally, I was just showing my daughter pictures of Lady's Smock as she is memorizing R.L. Stevenson's poem The Flowers. Of course you would have an excellent post on the subject! I read in Foley's Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Fridays that the name possibly has to do with the seamless garment Mary made for Our Lord. I didn't know this flower was associated with today's feast till now!