This book is a dictionary of British (native, naturalised and cultivated) plants and the folklore associated with them. Unlike many plant-lore publications Vickery’s Folk Flora tells us what people currently do and believe, rather than what Victorians did and believed. The result is a vivid demonstration that plant folklore in the British Isles is not only surviving but flourishing; adapting and evolving as time goes by, even in urban areas.
Each entry includes:
– The plant’s English and scientific (Latin) name, as well as significant local names.
– A brief description of the plant and its distribution, and, in the case of cultivated plants, a history of their introduction to the British Isles
– Information on the folklore and traditional uses of the plant, arranged where possible in a sequence starting with general folk beliefs (superstitions), use in traditional customs, use in folk medicine, other uses, and legends concerning individual representatives of the plant.
In addition to the major entries there are a number of minor entries for feast days, diseases and other subjects which direct readers to relevant major entries, e.g. St. George’s Day, on which red roses are worn; dandelions are gathered; and runner beans are planted.
Roy Vickery's magisterial Folk Flora is based on a heroic lifetime of scholarship and full of wonderful details