Welcome to Plant-lore Archive
Plant-lore Archive has grown from the Folklore Society’s ‘Survey of Unlucky Flowers’ which was conducted in the early 1980s. It now holds over 6,450 items of information from approximately 1,550 contributors, and a large number of press-cuttings, off-prints, photographs and other material.
The Archive covers all aspects of the folklore and traditional uses of plants, and although previously published material is of interest, the emphasis is on contemporary (i.e. current and remembered) beliefs and practices.
Therefore information is sought concerning:
- Traditional beliefs concerning plants (for example, the belief that certain flowers cause bad luck if taken indoors)
- Local names of plants
- Plants and plant materials used in traditional customs and religious festivals
- Herbal remedies
- Sayings, riddles, tales and legends concerning plants
- Traditional times for sowing and harvesting crops, and practices associated with the cultivation of plants
- Plants used for foretelling the future
- Children’s games and pastimes which use plants
- Wild plants gathered for food
- Other traditional uses of plants
Information from all parts of the British Isles, ethnic groups settled in the British Isles, and comparative material from overseas is welcome, no matter how widespread and well-known it might be.
A copy of all the material received will eventually be placed in the care of the library of The Natural History Museum.
Please send any information and other correspondence using this website, or to:
Roy Vickery, 9 Terrapin Court, Terrapin Road, London, SW17 8QW.
Image: compiler, Roy Vickery, with dead stems of giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), Folkington, East Sussex, October 2012; Ros Sweetman.
Native to southwest Asia, giant hogweed was introduced to the British Isles as a garden ornamental in 1820, and escaped into the wild within a decade. Now widespread beside streams and rivers, and on damp waste ground, giant hogweed is well known as a cause of dermatitis, and scare stories frequently appear in local newspapers.