Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Ground elder

1. I use the young glossy leaves in pesto [Newark-upon-Trent, Nottinghamshire, June 2022].

2. Ground elder: We have a great deal of this in our Priory garden in Sussex, perhaps left over from monastic times when they may have used it as a potherb or medicinal plant for treating gout. I make a quiche from the young leaves which is very popular with my family and others. People always look doubtful when I offer it, but once they’ve tried it they are very keen to have another slice or tartlet [Kensington, London, March 2007].

3. Crushed ground elder (i.e. bishop’s weed) almost instantly soothes nettle stings [Hurlford, Strathclyde, October 1996].

Images:  main, Tisbury, Wiltshire, May 2015; inset, St Albans, Hertfordshire, June 2022.