Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


My grandmother grew up in rural Ireland and had a considerable knowledge of the properties of plants … there were many superstitious beliefs … any flower with spots such as mimulus [monkeyflower] and certain lilies were not to be given to another person as the spots represented illness and were seen as ill-wishing the recipient. I suppose this was a hangover from the days when diseases such as smallpox were more common [e-mail, March 2024].

Image: Mimulus guttatus (syn. Erythranthe guttata), W.H. Fitch & W.G. Smith, Illustrations of the British Flora, ed.5, 1949.