Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1, In Cornwall, saffron was a standard remedy years ago for children’s measles – wine-glass full three times daily. Probably why saffron cake is so popular in the Duchy.
I understand a few pieces of saffron were placed in a cup, hot water poured on, and the contents were drunk during the day [St Budeaux, Plymouth, November 1996].

2. [Cornwall] Of course there is the famous saffron cake … [this herb is] used a lot in Mediterranean countries, and was probably brought to Cornwall when the Phoenicians came trading for tin, as I believe they set up homesteads and brought their families. This was where the dark swarthy Cornishmen came from and not from the Spanish Armada as so fondly believed [Alicante, Spain, November 1991].

Images: main, cultivated, South London Botanical Institute, London Borough of Lambeth, October 2016; inset, town sign, Saffron Walden, Essex, saffron was cultivated around Walden in the fourteenth century and by the beginning of the sixteenth century the town began to be known as Saffron Walden, by the end of the eighteenth century saffron cultivation had virtually ceased in the area, July 2019.