Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

‘Palms’ in Castile & Leon

Posted on by royvickery |

Segovia 008Visited La Granja de San Ildefonso and Segovia, both in the autonomous region of Castile & León, Spain, 21-25 March 2016.

On Monday 21 March, the day after Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos), ‘palms’ were seen affixed to window railings in La Granja.  These were usually small branches of cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), but olive (Olea europaea) and bay (Laurus nobilis) were also used.

Segovia 107Wandering around Segovia on 21-25 March it seemed that olive was most frequently used as ‘palm’, though other species were also used.  These included butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) – one very dead looking branch, presumably left over from 2015 or earlier – various gymnosperms, bay, palm (Arecaceae) – only seen once – and more elaborate decorations apparently made from palm leaves.
Segovia 153In neither La Granja nor Segovia were ‘palms’ much in evidence; the great majority of windows remaining undecorated.  An exception was the Monastero de San Vincente el Real, which had olive branches attached to most, if not all, of its windows.

Images:  upper, cherry laurel ‘palm’, La Granja, 21 March; middle, olive attached to window of Monastero de San Vincente el Real, Segovia, 24 March; lower, elaborate palm decorations, Segovia, 25 March, 2016.

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