Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Hedge veronica

1. Children take the closed leaf tips of hedge veronica (Hebe x franciscana), the top leaf is curled back to make a sail, leaving the lower leaf as a keel, then they are floated as little boats [St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, September 1992].

2. [Cornwall] My family are the only people I have ever come across who have used the leaves of the plant Veronica for diarrhoea; peel the leaves of the plant until the smallest pair and eat about six.
Some years ago, when I lived in Plymouth, I went to an exhibition on healing plants and folklore at the local museum. One of the exhibits was Veronica, which, it said, was used by Maoris for stomach trouble
I know my great-grandfather sailed on tea clippers, so I wondered if he had also been to New Zealand and maybe brought this idea back with him [Calpe, Alicante, Spain, November 1991].

Image: Kensington Gardens, London; February 2014.