Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Solomon’s seal

1. My mother, who was born in the second half of the nineteenth century, told me when I was a little boy of the wonderful efficacy of solomon’s seal (Polygonatum) in drawing out the blackness of a bruise. This apparently traditional remedy (my mother never herself dabbled in herbal practices and must have learned this from her mother) … was used once on some member of our family – I have forgotten who it was – and a local doctor who was called in to the case was most impressed and made a note of the remedy. As I remember it, the washed rhizome was grated and the pulp was bandaged on the bruise as a cold poultice [Applethwaite, Cumbria, September 1996].

2. Solomon’s seal so called from leaf scars on rhizome (Cambridge gardener, 1956) [Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, January 1993].

Image:  cultivated, Brockwell Park, London Borough of Lambeth; May 2014.