Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Traveller’s joy

2014-07-12 09.47.221.  We used to smoke the stems of Clematis vitalba as children, in Switzerland, about 50 years ago [e-mail, January 2019].

2. Games and pastimes we indulged in as children: Smoking whiffy-wood:  using short lengths of the dry traveller’s joy for ‘a smoke’.  I can only remember the bitter and acrid taste we had to endure (east Surrey, early 50s) [Dorking, Surrey, November 2009].

3. As a boy in the Croydon area I knew the wild clematis as whippy wood, and young gentlemen used to smoke it; it’s stem is like that of elder inside. It used to be common up on the downs [Rodmell, East Sussex, January 1995].

Images:  main, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, February 2015; inset, Faversham, Kent, July 2014.