Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Lesser celandine

1. [d.o.b. 30 December 1946] I was brought up in the country and lived at various places [in Devon] … when we picked celandines or buttercups we held them under each other’s chins and if your chin reflected yellow it meant you liked butter. Gosh! chance would have been a fine thing, we only ever had cheap margarine, but according to today’s ways we would now be classed as eating healthily; haven’t times changed? [Exeter, Devon, September 2011].

2. Notes compiled by a close farming friend of mine [of Mardu, Clun] … celandine – the bulbous corms cooked with lard to cure piles [Newcastle-on-Clun, Shropshire, November 2004].

3. A friend of mine, now in her seventies, says her father used to make an ointment of celandine petals in lard, but ‘he wouldn’t tell her where he used it’. He collected the celandines each year from a patch beside the Grand Union Canal, locally in Middlesex [Uxbridge, Middlesex, March 2001].

4. The time for sowing in this district was when the flower Llygad Elrill, or celandine, appeared, which was the beginning of April [Llanuwychylln, Gwynedd, April 1991].

Images: main, Balham, London Borough of Wandsworth, February 2014; inset, Hughenden, Buckinghamashire, March 2018.