Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

What’s happening?

Photograph taken in Bedford Woods, Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, 12 December 2017.  Coloured candles, pink roses (Rosa cv.), a variety of chili peppers (Capsicum cvs), candles, what looks like saffron-coloured rice (Oryza sativa) flakes, and, earlier in the day, slices of white bread, placed at the base of a tree.

Presumably the remains of a Hindu ceremony.

Comments appreciated; please send them to

Comments:                                                                                                                     1. Could this in some way be connected with the Jewish festival of Chanukah (Hanukkah), which runs from 13-20 December 2017?  [Carlos Bruzon, London, 13 December 2017].                                                                                                                                                                                                                   2. Yellow substance (previously thought to be saffron-coloured rice flakes) noticed at the base of two trees in Bedford Woods, one of them being the one shown above, on 24 March 2018, i.e. four days after the Spring Equinox.  Also one tree elsewhere on the Common with candles placed in a circle below it [RV, 24 March 2018].

3.  A similar ‘shrine’ appeared in the Woods at the end of August 2018, leading to discussion on Friends of Tooting Common Facebook, where it seemed to be agreed that it was an Umbada (Afro-Brazilian folk religion) ritual [RV, 8 September 2018],

Updated 12 September 2018.

  • Upcoming Events

  • Recent Plants

  • Archives