Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Field maple

1. [Plant names known in] my childhood in Derbyshire in the 1940s – though the names I know are probably from Lincolnshire or Yorkshire ones, since that is where my parents came from … ‘Oak’ – this was Acer campestre, which had to worn in the button-hole on 29 May (King Charles in the oak tree) on pain of being ‘nettled’ (Urtica) for non-compliance. This was a Derbyshire custom and did not derive from my parents. But why and how on earth did it arise? [Downley, Buckinghamshire, February 1995].

Image: Mortlake, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; May 2014.