January 27, 2021

plant folklore uk

Richard Mabey’s excellent Flora Britannica project, back in the 1990s, was a comprehensive attempt to gather plant folklore from all over Britain. However, as with almost every plant based folklore, there are some that believe the exact opposite. Your email address will not be published. Various people believe it protects against witchcraft. I've written about my personal connection to the fairy tale in " Transformations ," but I must give you fair warning that this essay is a dark one. They hold a narrative, they usually have a beginning, middle and an end, and often include a curious twist or magical intervention. Galangal Plant Information. 31) Eva Bowen - Willow (Salix sp.) Throughout the major cultures of Europe the oak tree has been held in high esteem. Here are some popular sayings which have come about by watching the weather and how plants and animals can sometimes indicate what is to come. Indeed in parts of Britain holly was once referred to simply as ‘Christmas’, and in pre-Victorian times ‘Christmas trees’ meant holly bushes. Herbal teas, ointments apothecary & crafts. Check out earlier articles here: Folkore of Scotland’s Wildlife Old stories, and recent tales. Commentators thought the ointment helped the witches to fly to their gatherings, but it’s more likely that a combination of the plants caused hallucinations. Yahoo Mail. Whether you choose annuals, perennials or shrubs, they smarten up any entryway and make it feel like there's no place like home! Richard Mabey’s excellent Flora Britannica project, back in the 1990s, was a comprehensive attempt to gather plant folklore from all over Britain. The German Commission E, which evaluates the efficacy of herbal remedies, endorsed tea made from V. densiflorum flowers as an effective treatment for catarrhs of the respiratory tract. Bluegrasses are found in temperate and tropical climates worldwide, and several have naturalized in areas outside their native range. The Plant Path Folk believe in handmade, local and wildcrafted products. From strange and often dangerous herbal "cures" to black magic and wonderful legends of love, it is all what's called Wildflower Folklore. The Importance of Plants and Flowers Yallery Brown is a deeply disturbing little story that is still haunting me, months after I started to work on it. For £4, I picked up a book called The Gardener’s Folklore, by Margaret Baker, originally published in the US in 1977 (there are second-hand versions available on the internet). Synopsis To primitive man the whisper and movement of leaves and the silent unfolding of flowers were proofs of life and power, and their regeneration was a promise of nature's continuity. Local stories, linked with a particular place or even a particular family. It is probably the one time when a lot of us still practice at least a few old folklore customs today. Flora Britannica, the matter of Britain. The plant requires partial shade and moist, fertile, well-drained soil. Bluegrass, (genus Poa), in botany, the largest genus in the grass family (Poaceae), comprising more than 500 species. In Britain the most common topic of conversation is the weather, so over the centuries much of the folklore has centred around the subject. Here are some popular sayings which have come about by watching the weather and how plants and animals can sometimes indicate what is to come. Plants are the perfect way to boost curb appeal. Stories that perhaps haven’t been written down, but have been told from person to person. Plant Lore A rich heritage of plant lore exists in Merlin’s Isle, as Britain was once known, and we can trace this heritage at least as far back as the Bronze Age, which began here around 4,000 years ago. A mandrake is the root of a plant, historically derived either from plants of the genus Mandragora found in the Mediterranean region, or from other species, such as Bryonia alba, the English mandrake, which have similar properties.The plants from which the root is obtained are also called "mandrakes". In Bantu folklore, gourds and pumpkins have the potential to grow into vast, devouring creatures. Folklore tells us of the cultural associations and traditions that people hold. Both are precious parts of our heritage. However, because some plants yield poisons and some die in winter, plants can also represent death and decay. … The devouring gourd of Usambara was discovered by a group of little boys at play. Your email address will not be published. If you go for the second option then Stem cuttings need to be treated in exactly the same way as Leaf cuttings (described above). To the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Slavs and Teutonic tribes the oak was foremost amongst venerated trees, and in each case associated with the supreme god in their pantheon, oak being sacred to Zeus, Jupiter, Dagda, Perun and Thor, respectively. The Plant Lore is a consciously founded sales agency representing a tightly curated group of plant based beauty, wellness and gourmet grocer brands utilizing Cannabinoids in some but not all products along with other organic plant materials brought to you by Mother Nature. (See 'The Author' section below for direct links). Fact behind gardening old wives’ tales, lunar sowing and companion plants Wherever I go, I seek out second-hand bookshops for little gems full of information. To get started, choose a planter. At the time, he called the project “the post-modern folklore which… may yet be the best bridge across the gulfs between science and subjective feelings, and between ourselves and other species.” I love Mabey’s recording of Himalayan Balsam being re-named ‘stinky-pops’ by Hertfordshire children, because of its strong scent and explosive seedpods. To Order please email 'enquiries at plantfolklore.uk' In the third in the series of blogs on the folklore of Scotland’s wildlife, Director of Training, Myles Farnbank explores the traditional uses of three common and well-known Scottish native plants. However, there’s a difference between plant folklore and plant folk tales. It’s a path strewn with rich insights into how the land of these islands was viewed and worked in times past. I’d love to hear from you. It was collected by Marie Balfour in Lincolnshire in the late 1880s. Buy Kew - The Witch's Garden: Plants in Folklore, Magic and Traditional Medicine Illustrated by Lawrence, Sandra (ISBN: 9781787394360) from Amazon's Book Store. Click / Tap here to contact the Author via email, Hotmail/Live Mail/Outlook In Scotland it would be planted near crofts to protect the home from witches - although some point out that it was more likely to be a windbreak. The story of Yallery Brown was considered by Alan Garner to be the most important British folk tale of all. Pieces of the tree were carried by people for personal protection. However, because some plants yield poisons and some die in winter, plants can also represent death and decay. They’re known as ‘fairy flowers’ because the fairies ring them to summon their kin! Welcome to plantfolklore.uk - investigating the use of plants in the customs, legends and beliefs of pre-industrial England. Bluebells are one of my favourite wildflowers, and they’re another one of the most common garden flowers in the UK. Discover the medicinal properties of Scotland’s most iconic plants. Christmas brings with it many traditions. The magical plant or herb of immortality sought by Gilgamesh, the hero of ancient Mesopotamian mythology, provides one example of how myths use plants as symbols of life and of the healing power of nature. Folk tales are stories of place that have been passed on through generations. The latter is generally what makes these stories interesting. What is a ‘folk tale?’ When does modern become traditional, and anecdote become received wisdom? If it resumed a vertical position, all was well, but if the mullein died, their love was untrue. Some will survive, some won’t. In Scotland it would be planted near crofts to protect the home from witches - although some point out that it was more likely to be a windbreak. This is where the real medicinal and poisonous properties of wildflowers meet the romantic legends, histories and wild superstitions that surround many of our favorites. If you know of a story, ancient or recent, that originates from somewhere in the British Isles and where plants have a key role – and you would be willing to share it as part of this project – then get in touch! It had similar connotations in Greek mythology, with the first elm tree said to have grown on the spot where Orpheus played his … Christmas brings with it many traditions. Back to the dandelion. Galangal is a tropical plant that grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and above. In The Dreamtime Mistletoe Folklore of the Ivy Plant Ivy, though actually a vine, has a very popular and extensive history in tree lore. It’s the tree for the month of October and the vine of the Greek god Dionysus, who was known to wear a crown of ivy leaves. Required fields are marked *. Another folk story I like is that country folk in medieval England used mullein was to know if their lover was faithful. Galangal rhizomes, or “hands,” widely available at ethnic supermarkets are ideal for planting. It is a day to honour the rebirth of the sun and many people who celebrate it tak Folk names for the blackberry-bramble vine include bumblekites, bounty thorn, skaldberry, blackbutters, blackbides, gatterberry.In Gaelic it is the prickle thorn - dris-muine. Along with opium poppy and other plants, belladonna was believed to make up the ‘flying ointment’ used by witches. In the British Isles the rowan has a long history in folklore as a tree which protects against enchantment. Water well, then wait for the soil to dry out before doing it again. India has an old custom called “Donada” which involves stomping on the ground and singing to the tree. Herbs enliven the garden and accent it with a richness of texture, unique scents and properties. It’s about a dark-humoured dandelion spirit who delights in wrecking the entire life of the unfortunate man who stumbled across him in a field. In The Dreamtime Mistletoe Folklore of the Ivy Plant Ivy, though actually a vine, has a very popular and extensive history in tree lore. Many species are useful as lawn, pasture, and Imbolc, on the 1st or 2nd of February, is Brigid’s holiday - marking the beginning of spring. They believed this encouraged growth. Herb history is full of contradictions, superstition and downright dangerous mistakes. At the time, he called the project “the post-modern folklore which… may yet be the best bridge across the gulfs between science and subjective feelings, and between ourselves and other species.” Quite rightly, this book is a key reference for anyone interested in the connection between people and wild plants. However, as with almost every plant based folklore, there are some that believe the exact opposite. Folk herbals often used common mullein, but modern usage seems to be bypassing common mullein for its relative, denseflower mullein, Verbascum densiflorum. In Winter you want to give enough to keep the soil just barely moist. Flora Britannica, the matter of Britain. To Order please email 'enquiries at plantfolklore.uk', Click / Tap here to contact the Author via email. Folklorists such as Mabey and Vickery have openly embraced modern plant folklore as part of a live tradition that changes as our landscape changes. Blackberry vines, with their long, thorny canes are a common sight arching among the English lanes and hedgerows, scrambling over fences, spreading quickly to make huge impenetrable barriers if left untended. I don’t want to draw too sharp a distinction,  since folklore and folk tales about plants are clearly close relations. An avenue of elm trees in Hampshire. Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) is a native herb to the UK with a host of potential medicinal uses and a lovely flower display and intense leaf texture. Indeed in parts of Britain holly was once referred to simply as ‘Christmas’, and in pre-Victorian times ‘Christmas trees’ meant holly bushes. Various people believe it protects against witchcraft. Look for one that complements your home’s style and color, and make sure it’s large enough to make a statement and be seen from the street. Related posts: Wildflower season, More folklore of the wild flowers, The folklore of food, and, for more on the Wild Swan fairy tale, Swan's wing. This island’s plants clothe the landscape, characterising the country, lending it … For my book Botanical Tales, I’ve been researching the traditional folk tales recorded from many different parts of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, looking for stories where wild plants and trees play a central role, and relating these stories back to the folklore of plants and the landscapes where the stories come from. As with most succulents, Jade Plants are tough and adaptable to many situations and a variety of treatments, however they wont last long if you constantly over water. Plants Before the Revolution is the first in a series of occasional publications tracing the subtle but significant part plants and flowers have played in English society. An extract from Oak, Fern and Daisy: ‘The Folklore, Culture and Magic of the Plant Kingdom’ By Jez Winship. It’s […] Foxglove And, as with folklore, story is a living tradition, and new folktales are still being formed. In the UK and other western countries we are told to feed our plants, mulch them, manure them etc. It currently holds some 8,470 items of information from approximately 2,750 contributors, and a large number of press-cuttings, off … It’s the tree for the month of October and the vine of the Greek god Dionysus, who was known to wear a crown of ivy leaves. This island’s plants clothe the landscape, characterising the country, lending it colour, scent and texture. The plant in old folklore is called Allheal, used in folk medicine to cure many ills, and indeed the Druids considered the mistletoe to be a sacred plant and believed it had miraculous properties which could cure illnesses, serve as an antidote against poisons, ensure fertility and protect against the ill effects of witchcraft. “Look at how big that gourd is getting!” said one of the boys. https://www.discoverwildlife.com › plant-facts › trees › trees-in-folklore The history of herbs, their folklore and legends often read like something from a horror movie – scorpions in the brain, worms in the brain, and all sorts of uninvited guests making their way into the bodies of their victims. But right now, it’s the stories I am after: those stories of wild plants across the British Isles that can be told, shared and enjoyed by new audiences. Plants Before the Revolution explores the extensive use of plants in daily life and work, in seasonal customs and ceremonies, in food, popular beliefs and the practice of folk medicine and magic. According to Wildlife.bcn.org, 25-49% of the world’s population are found in Britain. © Travelpix Ltd/Getty To the Celts, elm was associated with elves and the passage to the Underworld. Sue McDowall is a folklore researcher and author who has written extensively on various aspects of plant lore. They bent the plant toward the lover's house. In Britain the most common topic of conversation is the weather, so over the centuries much of the folklore has centred around the subject. Along with opium poppy and other plants, belladonna was believed to make up the ‘flying ointment’ used by witches. Angelica was associated with many Pagan festivals, and after the introduction of Christianity, the plant became linked with some angelic lore as well. Copyright ©2019 Hurstwood Publishing / Alderney Media, (See 'The Author' section below for direct links). English folklore consists of the myths and legends of England, including the English region's mythical creatures, traditional recipes, urban legends, and folktales.English folklore encompasses the traditional Robin Hood tales, the Brythonic-inspired Arthurian legend, and the more contemporary urban legends and monsters such as the Beast of Bodmin Moor. Such plants usually grow where evil sorcerers or ogres were slain. The part that plants and flowers played in the life of pre-industrial England should not be underestimated for they were necessary to a degree we can now hardly comprehend. English folklore consists of the myths and legends of England, including the English region's mythical creatures, traditional recipes, urban legends, and folktales.English folklore encompasses the traditional Robin Hood tales, the Brythonic-inspired Arthurian legend, and the more contemporary urban legends and monsters such as the Beast of Bodmin Moor. Trees have always been part of folklore, but lots of other plants have become a part of old stories and beliefs as well – like herbs, shrubs, bushes, flowers, and the like. The only real diff… Gmail Plant-lore Archive has grown from the Folklore Society’s ‘Survey of Unlucky Flowers’ which was conducted in the early 1980s. Welcome to plantfolklore.uk - investigating the use of plants in the customs, legends and beliefs of pre-industrial England. An extract from Oak, Fern and Daisy: ‘The Folklore, Culture and Magic of the Plant Kingdom’ By Jez Winship. Plant Lore A rich heritage of plant lore exists in Merlin’s Isle, as Britain was once known, and we can trace this heritage at least as far back as the Bronze Age, which began here around 4,000 years ago. The magical plant or herb of immortality sought by Gilgamesh, the hero of ancient Mesopotamian mythology, provides one example of how myths use plants as symbols of life and of the healing power of nature. For example, Roy Vickery in his book Garlands, Conkers and Mother-Die notes that dandelion juice is widely considered to be a good cure for warts, that the simple pleasure of blowing on dandelion clocks to tell the time has variants throughout Britain, and that in Elgin there is a belief that dandelion seeds are fairies. It is probably the one time when a lot of us still practice at least a few old folklore customs today. Imbolc is one of the Celtic fire festivals and commemorates the passing of winter and the Crone into spring and the Maiden. Cures, magic, divination and portents were all connected with the … On the Isle of Man crosses for protection were made from rowan twigs, worn by people and … Commentators thought the ointment helped the witches to fly to their gatherings, but it’s more likely that a combination of the plants caused … , as with folklore, story is a deeply disturbing little story that is still me. T been written down, but have been passed on through generations stomping on the or... Jez Winship, and anecdote become received wisdom at plantfolklore.uk ', click / Tap to. Wildcrafted products such as Mabey and Vickery have openly embraced modern plant and. Of all ‘ folk tale of all Donada ” which involves stomping on the ground and singing to the were... To the Celts, elm was associated with elves and the Crone into spring and passage! Believe the exact opposite Author who has written extensively on various aspects of plant lore Balfour Lincolnshire! 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