Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

QUERY: Holly, firs and limes

From John Smith:
A book on Devon speaks of holly [Ilex aquifolium] and firs [Pinus spp.] in green lanes, then continues: ‘The planting of such trees meant that you were on King James’s side during the Monmouth rebellion era. If limes [Tilia spp.] were planted, it meant you were for the return of William Prince of Orange.’
Can anyone throw any light on this?

Response:
A similar belief is recorded by Katharine Briggs in The Folklore of the Cotswolds, London, 1974: 123:
Pines are not very common in the Cotswolds. When a clump of them is seen in a conspicuous place near a dwelling it is traditionally supposed that they were planted as a sign to fugitive Jacobites that they could find safe harbour there. The pines were associated with Scotland and the Stewarts [RV, 9 February 2011].

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