Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


0171. The junior at the hairdresser’s told me how she used to catch the white bits off poplar trees and scrunch them up to make a kind of itching powder [Streatham, London, June 1994].

2. When I was little [c.1940s] my older relatives urged me to collect poplar catkins and put them in a little saucer, carefully mixed with water, for the fairies to eat at night (while I was asleep!). Needless to say the catkins had gone by the morning … I believe it was a fairly common practice among children earlier this century [Sutton, Surrey, August 1993].

Images: main, fallen seeds, Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, June 2015; inset, catkins, Kensington Gardens, London, April 2015.