Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. I’m over 70 years old and was born and bred in Inverness-shire. During the Second World War I recall collecting sphagnum moss; it was dried and sent out to the front to dress wounds [Aultvaich, Inverness-shire, April 2012].

2. In the 1960s there was a full-time Sphagnum collector for Beechams in the Dorking area of Surrey [Addlestone, Surrey, August 1997].

3. Sphagnum grows profusely on Bute. When cotton wool was scarce during the War the moss was used to staunch wounds. Balnotncilly woods was a good place to find it. It became a war effort. It was dried, cleaned and packed in gauze bags for hospitals and army field units [Buckhaven, Fife, June 1997].

4. Sphagnum moss – moss – greatly assists the healing of wounds [Lerwick, Shetland, March 1994].

5. In 1916 we were asked to collect sphagnum moss for wound dressings [Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, January 1991].

Image: Helm Crag, Grasmere, Cumbria; May 2014.