Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Columbia Road Flower Market, December 2016

Visited the Columbia Road Flower Market, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, on Sunday 18 December, arriving late in the day, at about 4 p.m.

Most of the Christmas trees appeared to have been sold, although a few remained, some reduced in price from £15 to £5.

Two stalls were offered rather poor quality mistletoe (Viscum album), but no holly (Ilex aquifolium) was seen.  The latter seems to have been replaced by ‘ilex’ (I. verticillata), selling at £3 for three stems.

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) were available, at £5 for two large plants, but they do not appear to be as popular as they were, say, 10 years ago.  Pussy willow (Salix sp.) was abundant.  This is described as ‘everlasting’; it appears to be dead, so presumably it lasts for a long time without deteriorating.  Cotton (Gossypium) bolls continue to be widely available, and ‘herbal’ or ‘herbal scented’ eucalyptus seems to be gaining popularity.


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