Llanelli Naturalists
APPEAL FOR YOUR RECOLLECTIONS ON PLANT FOLKLORE PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Pryce   

Plant-lore Archive: towards a folk flora

The Plant-lore Archive project has developed from a survey of ‘unlucky’ plants, conducted by the Folklore Society in the early 1980s.  It contains almost 6,600 items from approximately 1620 contributors, press cuttings, photographs and off-prints.  An early contributor, in 1983, was Annie Mary Pell, and information has been collected while attending Kath and Richard Pryce’s annual botanical recording week at Glynhir.

Material in the Archive was used in its compiler’s Dictionary of Plant-lore (1995) and work is now progressing on a Folk Flora.  While the Dictionary attempted to provide a broad survey of the folklore and traditional uses of wild and cultivated plants throughout the British Isles, the Flora will try to provide information of where and when various beliefs, local plant-names  and practices were, or are, known.  It is hoped that it will provide information on the distribution of British and Irish plant-lore throughout the rest of the world.  As with the Dictionary, the Flora will place emphasis on what people remember, do and know today. This means that all records, even if they are of things which ‘everyone knows’, are important. 

When people are asked if they know any folk remedies they tend to instantly reply no.  They go to pharmacists, and don’t resort to superstition and witchcraft.  But if you ask ‘What do you do if you get stung by a nettle?’  They invariably reply ‘Look for a dock leaf, of course’.  It’s assumed that such a widespread belief is unworthy of record, but there are different rhymes and rituals associated with the dock leaf cure in different parts of the British Isles.  Even more interestingly, one would expect such a wid e spread and well known cure to be also known throughout the rest of Europe, but it is not.  It appears that people in most of Europe either know of no treatment for nettle stings, or treat them with urine, cow dung, or more rarely a variety of herbs, including spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum).

Further information about the Archive and the Flora can be found on the website, www.plant-lore.com, and need-less-to say further memories and records would be greatly appreciated, please send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or Roy Vickery, 9 Terrapin Court, Terrapin Road, London, SW17 8QW.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 14:06
 
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Written by Richard Pryce   

Llanelli Naturalists logo

The Llanelli Naturalists was formed in 1973 to promote and advance the study of the countryside, including all aspects of nature, to encourage and actively support the protection of wildlife and the preservation of natural beauty.  The Society also has a remit to establish, own and maintain conservation areas, sanctuaries and nature reserves and owns a part of Ffrwd Fen at Pembrey.

It also exists to facilitate the exchange of information among members by, amongst other things, the organisation of field meetings, lectures, film shows, and exhibitions and to publish the results of the work of members. These events are an excellent opportunity to meet other naturalists of all abilities and to visit places of wildlife interest.  There is also an informal educational element to all meetings which enables those with an interest in wildlife but with less experience, to learn from the knowledge of other members. 

The Society periodically publishes a Newsletter which includes a record of society business and field meetings as well as articles and shorter notes of topical interest.  It also publishes the Bulletin which includes longer articles and reports of local wildlife research, and other papers of more scientific interest. To see current and past publications click on the articles link on the right.

New members are always welcome. Membership is available to anyone with an interest in the wildlife of Carmarthenshire, in particular, the Llanelli area, but you don’t have to live in Carmarthenshire to be a member.

Annual membership subscriptions are as follows: 

  • Ordinary (single) £7.50
  • Family £9.00
  • Concessions £5.50
  • Institutional £11.00

 For membership enquiries please contact the Treasurer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Last Updated on Monday, 08 December 2014 17:11