Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1.  [North Norfolk, 1940s] Jan’s father used to make whistles out of the stems of white-flowered and ridged Umbelliferae stems, with a hole cut in the stem [Lichfield, Staffordshire, February 2015].

2.  We never touched or picked umbellifers. They were all termed poisonous, I suppose it was to stop us picking hemlock [Plymouth, Devon, February 1993].

3. Umbellifers in general – known as mother-die on Merseyside and must not be picked at all [Bromborough, Merseyside, November 1990].

Image: hemlock water-dropwort, Oenanthe crocata, Thames Path between Kingston and Teddington Lock, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, London; May 2014.