Cardamine are a native to Europe through to Asia. Cardamine are a woodland plant with Cardamine quinquefolia and Cardamine enneaphylla the two most widely used species in the garden.

Not all Cardamines are recieved well by gardeners, some are a little to spreading and are seen as invasive. C. hirsuta is often called ‘flick weed’. C. flexuousa is similar.

So although some Cardamines are sold as garden plants, others are regarded as weeds and need to be controlled.

The best variety for the garden would be C. quinquefolia, it grows well in shade and adds color with masses of mauve to pink flowers in spring.

It will spread to form a largish colony, so plant where it can be allowed to roam a little.


Cardamine or ‘Cuckoo Flowers’ are easy to grow as long as they are in a humus rich soil.

Cardamine flower in early spring and will spread underground.

Try in part shade in a woodland type situation.


  • Excellent plant for shade, C. quinquefolia with its pink to mauve flowers that rise above the ferny foliage looks most attractive when in flower. It will spread by underground rhizomes, but dies back in spring.
  • The large flowered C. pentaphylla has flowers that range from near white to, pale pink.
  • C. enneaphylla is known as the drooping Cardamine, ferny green foliage with creamy white flowers that droop on nodding stems.