Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Columbia Road Flower Market, 24 December 2023

The annual visit to Columbia Road Flower Market, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets was made on 24 December, the last Sunday before Christmas, arriving at c. 11.15 a.m, when it was unseasonably warm.

Perhaps because the visit was made earlier in the day than usual, or perhaps because it was so near Christmas Day, there were far fewer people visting and buying than usual. Few Christmas trees were on sale, no mistletoe (Viscum album) was seen, and there were very few, if any, poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima). Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), cotton bolls (Gossypium) and pussy willow (Salix) remain popular, as do wreaths of various kinds.

Although holly (Ilex aquifolium) has been exceptionally fruitful in 2023, no loose holly was on sale, and the few holly wreaths which were seen all had wired-on artificial, rather than real, berries.

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