Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Red campion

1.  We always used to refer to [red] campion as cuckoo-flower, that is in our local area of Derby [e-mail, April 2018].

2.  Egremont, Cumbria, 1960s-70s – pink campions were known as mother-and-father-die.  We as children never picked them [Workington, Cumbria, May 2015].

3.  I always knew red campion as ragged robin; I learnt this as a child aged 3 (1942) from my father, a farmer’s son but then in the RAF, in West Sussex [Folklore Society meeting, Dorchester, Dorset, April 2014].

1054.  Silene dioica called soldier’s fleas [St Martin, Guernsey, May 2004].

5. I started school in the 1950s … a red flower, which I think is probably some sort of campion, we called soldier’s button [Capel, Kent, February 1998].

6. My mother called the pretty red campion flowers Poor Janes. I remember being so surprised to find this wasn’t the correct name [Taunton, Somerset, April 1994].

7. Local plant names … Red riding hood/ Robin Hood – red campion [Pimperne, Dorset, January 1992].

8. Blodyn Neidr (snake flower) – campion – used to be one of my favourite flowers, but my grandmother was convinced that I would be attacked by a snake if I brought it into the house [Bow Street, Dyfed, March 1984].

9. Red campion – red riding hood … We lived at Sidbury for many years, so I am really ‘country born and bred’ [Exeter, Devon, January 1982].

Images: main, Misterton, Somerset, May 2014; inset, Rodden Meadow, Frome, Somerset, May 2015.