Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Meadow crane’s-bill

1. In Sweden meadow crane’s-bill is an essential for decorating¬† Midsummer poles, as is oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare).¬† Probably because they are seasonal. It’s other name is brown maiden, a name given before the colour purple was introduced to the Swedish language, so anything purple before that would have been referred to as brown! [London, June 2022].

2. A few pieces of plant-lore I learned from my teenage friends in the country during the war:
Meadow crane’s-bill was known as thunder flowers, and one would incur the wrath of one’s friends if one picked some, as it was sure to thunder and cause a downpour! [Alnwick, Northumberland, March 1998].

3. Collected from north Antrim. Local flower name: Geranium pratense – meadow cranesbill – Flower of Dunluce.
I learnt this about 1920-30 from either my mother or other family or friends in Ballymoney or Ballycastle.
The only Irish habitat of this Geranium is on the north coast, from Ballycastle to near Portrush, near the castle of Dunluce [Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, January 1991].

Image:  Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire; July 2015.