Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Wild carrot

1. I loved picking flowers when I was a child (before the 2nd World War). I was a Londoner, but have always loved the countryside.
My mother was horrified when one day I took [indoors] some flowers from the wild carrot – so pretty and dainty. She called them break-your-mother’s-heart. I had to take them out of the house. I have no idea why she called them that [Wareham, Dorset, September 2011].

2.  In 1916 we were asked to collect sphagnum moss  for wound dressings.  I seem to remember we were also asked to collect wild carrot (Daucus carota) – but I can’t think what for.  I remember doing a lot of work that summer and sending off a whole sackful, and being disappointed at hardly being paid anything for it [Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, January 1991].

Images:  main, area sown with wildflower seed near Clapham South station, Clapham Common, London Borough of Lambeth, May 2014; inset, seed-head, Brompton Cemetery, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, September 2021.