Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Foraging in Nunhead Cemetery

Posted on by royvickery |

024Visited Nunhead Cemetery, London Borough of Southwark, Sunday 17 April 2016.  Although only one young couple were seen gathering stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) it was apparent that the nettles in the cemetery are regularly foraged.  Most of the easily accessible plants beside paths had their growing tips removed.

More intriguing was a family, probably of Central European origin, who had a large bag full of lords-and-ladies (also known as cuckoo-pint and wild arum, Arum maculatum) leaves.  Surely such leaves are poisonous; what use were they going to make of them?

Comment from Alex Laird, 20 April 2016: I too was intrigued on Sunday by the ?Romanians picking lords-and-ladies leaves.  Perhaps they were doing it for a pharmaceutical company for the extraction of lectins, or apparently the leaves can be eaten if very well cooked.

Image:  lords-and-ladies, Woldingham, Surrey, April 2016.

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