Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Herbal Mythologies

Finished reading ‘A Concise Guide To Herbs’ by Jenny Linford. A few myths and etymologies from it I found interesting;

‘The common name derives from the Old English ‘day’s eye’, referring to both the flower’s appearance and the fact that it opens during daylight hours.’
 Lady’s Smock;
‘In Britain, lady’s smock is a plant with much folklore attached to it, including the belief that it attracted adders. It was also thought that picking the flowers resulted in lightning and thunder.’
‘There is much folklore attached to the herb, including the legend that its blue flowers are the eyes of a girl crying for her sweetheart lost at sea.’
‘White dittany’s common names, ‘burning bush’ and ‘gas plant’, are a reference to the plant’s lemon-scented, volatile oils, which in calm, warm weather form a vapour around it that can be ignited.’
Milk Thistle;
‘Its specific name marianum derives from the legend that the Virgin Mary’s milk ran down its leaves, causing their striking white stains.’

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