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The flower is designed to attract flies for pollination and club shaped spike releases a urine-like odour. Its fruit – a spike of bright orange berries – can be a common sight in woodlands in autumn. Like many wild berries these are toxic to humans so take care around them.
Lords-and-ladies are quite common throughout most of the UK. Mostly in hedgerows and woodland areas. The exception is north and central Scotland.
It flowers in April and May, but is also a striking sight when its bright orange berries are in fruit in autumn.
The plant’s fascinating shape and form has inspired a wide variety of names.
Perhaps not surprisingly, many have rather bawdy associations.
Lords-and-Ladies. Image by Dominic Price
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