Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

White bryony

2014-07-07 15.28.071. My father-in-law says that the powdered root of the white bryony (Bryonia dioica) was added to the food ration of working horses on a farm where he worked in north Norfolk. Just a pinch was used, and he still maintains ‘it put a shine on their coats’. He is now around 70 years of age …
[He] says that in order to dry the bryony roots for adding to the horses’ food it was placed in the household oven in cool heat, just enough to dry it, not bake. It was administered by the pinch daily at one pinch per day [West Stow, Suffolk, February & March 1989].

Images: main, Upminster, London Borough of Havering, July 2016, thanks to Phil Collins; inset, Tatem Park, London Borough of Enfield, July 2014.