Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Lucky white ‘heather’, London 2021

‘Top quality, everlasting, lucky heather, £7.50 a bunch’, for sale from a stall in the Columbia Road Flower Market, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, 19 December 2021.

The material on sale was not a heather (Erica), but a statice, probably German statice (Limonium tartaricum).

Addendum: In February 1982 gypsy women in Balham, south London, who were selling ‘white heather’ offered dried white statice, instead of the real thing.  When asked what luck their heather would bring they tended to be vague and unimaginative: ‘makes your hair grow’.

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