Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. [1950s] We used to feed chickweed to our hens in New Zealand [Balham, London, February 2021].

2. I remember when we used to collect chickweed from my father’s allotment. We would bring it home, wash it in a sieve, then fry it with a knob of butter, one onion and some cheese. Very tasty [Andover, Hampshire, December 2013].

3. Chickweed: I was told by my neighbour to collect this for my budgie; she said that birds like a bit of green stuff as well and seed [Childwall, Liverpool, April 2013].

4. Canaries like chickweed. My grandmother used to send us out to collect chickweed for her canary [Wandsworth Common, London, March 1998].

5. Arvi (common chickweed) is said to grow wherever the soil is good quality [Lerwick, Shetland, March 1994].

Image: main, Henrietta Street, Dublin, November 2014; inset, St Mary Cray Cemetery, London Borough of Bromley, September 2022.