Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Herb robert

1. Known as Stinking Bill in Nottingham when I was young.¬† We used to say ‘It’s black over Bill’s mother’s’, when it looked like rain [Woolwich, London, April 2022].

2.  When I was a child in Dorset I always knew herb robert as ragged robin [Dulwich, London, February 2014].

STRATFORD 1083. Wildflower nicknames heard in this part of Buckinghamshire …
Headaches – herb robert [Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, September 2012].

4. Another plant, I don’t really know the name of it – a pretty pink small flower, feathery leaves, smelt of fox musk if you touched it – we [were] told not to touch it as we always seemed to hear the rumble of thunder before our walk was over if we did [Eardiston, Worcestershire, April 2012].

5. I grew up in Exmouth [Devon] … herb robert I always knew as nancy dancy [Ruislip, Middlesex, October 2011].

6. Local names of plants … bachelor’s buttons – herb robert [Wormshill, Kent, May 2003].

7. Herb robert … sometimes known as the sleepy plant [Gullane, East Lothian, February 1997].

8. Local names of wild flowers … learned from my mother, who was born in 1883 …
Herb robert – nancy dancy [Exeter, Devon, January 1982].

Images: main, Balham, London Borough of Wandsworth, April 2014; inset, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, April 2016.