It is stated that while most books of this type rely strongly on previously published works concentrating on the late 1900 century, 5600 items collected between 1981-94, from 700 informants, were used as a basis for this collection of plant lore. The name "plant" is used in the broadest sense of the word, including flowering plants, ferns, mosses and liverworts as well as lichens, algae and fungi. Information supplied for each plant includes one or all of the following items; general folk-beliefs or superstitions, use in traditional customs, uses in folk-medicine, legends and other miscellaneous information. Plants are listed, alphabetically, by their standard English name (book name), except when the common name is used more often than the standard name. Book names are not to be confused with scientific or Latin names. If the book name is unknown, an appendix is provided listing the Latin names with their corresponding book name.
Interspersed amongst the alphabetical listing of plants are the diseases treated by certain plants. It is noted by the author that these treatments or cures are given as received from the informants or as listed in previous publications and no attempt was made to evaluate their effectiveness. The reader should exercise caution in trying any of the "cures". Also included are holidays and events associated with plants, such as, May Eve, Christmas and All Soul's Day.
This book would be a fine acquisition for those with
an interest in all plant lore or in plant lore of the British
Isles. However, if your interest is in plant lore somewhere other
than the British Isles, this book would not be of much help.
The common, and even book names, are unfamiliar outside the area
treated in this text, making it difficult to find anything other
than the most common plants. - Cynthia
M. Galloway, Dept. of Biology, Campus Box 158, Texas A&M University,
Kingsville, TX 78363