Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

REPORT: ‘Healing Hedgerows’

Posted on by royvickery |

The Wildlife Garden at the Natural History Museum held its annual recording day on Friday 13 July 2016 (although, of course, the recording of species continues throughout the year).  So far approximately 3,000 species have been recorded in the Garden.

During the afternoon Roy Vickery led two walks entitled Healing Hedgerows, discussing how wild plants were used in traditional medicine.  Events in the Wildlife Garden have always been useful for collecting plant folklore from different parts of the world.  On this occasion participants recalled the hairs in rose-hips (Rosa spp.)  being used as itching powder in Norfolk, (Tilia sp.) blossoms being used as a tea against chest infections in the 1930s in Berlin, and the presence of  rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) trees in  New Zealand gardens indicating the religion of  householders.  Unfortunately the contributor, who left New Zealand as a young child, was unable to recall whether the the presence of rowan indicated that the householder was protestant or catholic.  Has anyone else ever come across this belief?

Photograph © Sue Snell.

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