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.
Throughout the history of civilisation, traditional crafts have been passed down from hand to skilled hand. Blacksmithing, brewing, beekeeping, baking, milling, spinning, knitting and weaving: these skills held societies together, and so too shaped their folklore and mythology. Exploring the folklore connected with these rural crafts, Telling the Bees examines the customs, superstitions and stories woven into some of the world’s oldest trades. From the spinning of the Fates to the blacksmith’s relationship with the devil, and the symbolism of John Barleycorn to a ritual to create bees from the corpse of a cow – these are the traditions upon which our modern world was built.
Robert Bevan-Jones brings together a wealth of documentary and archaeo-botanical sources to discuss the cultural, social (and anti-social) role of the 50 most significant species of poisonous plants and fungi found in Britain, either as natives or as introductions.
This landmark guide offers a comprehensive survey of the native and naturalized wild plants of England, Scotland, and Wales. Useful and delightful, it covers 1,000 species, including trees and ferns. More than a definitive work of natural history, however, it is also a virtual encyclopedia of living folklore, recording the role of wild plants in social life, the arts, customs, and landscapes. The information has been supplied by the people themselves, creating a unique national record of the popular culture, domestic uses, and social meanings of Britain's wild plants. Splendidly written by naturalist Richard Mabey and illustrated with 500 fine color photographs, Flora Britannica is an elegant testimony to the continuing relationship between nature and man.
Focuses first on the natural history of ash, beech, birch, black poplar, lime, oak, scots pine and yew, then on all the other native trees from alder to willow.
Herbal and Magical Medicine draws on perspectives from folklore, anthropology, psychology, medicine, and botany to describe the traditional medical beliefs and practices among Native, Anglo- and African Americans in eastern North Carolina and Virginia. In documenting the vitality of such seemingly unusual healing traditions as talking the fire out of burns, wart-curing, blood-stopping, herbal healing, and rootwork, the contributors to this volume demonstrate how the region’s folk medical systems operate in tandem with scientific biomedicine. The authors provide illuminating commentary on the major forms of naturopathic and magico-religious medicine practiced in the United States. Other essays explain the persistence of these traditions in our modern technological society and address the bases of folk medical concepts of illness and treatment and the efficacy of particular pratices. The collection suggests a model for collaborative research on traditional medicine that can be replicated in other parts of the country. An extensive bibliography reveals the scope and variety of research in the field. Contributors. Karen Baldwin, Richard Blaustein, Linda Camino, Edward M. Croom Jr., David Hufford, James W. Kirland, Peter Lichstein, Holly F. Mathews, Robert Sammons, C. W. Sullivan III
"A modern reference work on the part played by herbs, shrubs and trees in mythology and religious and profane rituals and the symbolism that derives from them. Many customs that 21st -century man finds perfectly normal once had a far deeper significance. It is an academically sound survey of the knowledge of ritual plants over the centuries, taking a broad view, plus a critical look at how correctly plant species are named in the literature."--Publisher description.