Traditional and Modern Use of Yarrow

Yarrow is the herb of a million flowers thanks to its prolific foliage. This wild edible has been used since ancient times in food and medicine, and it still a commonly used herb today. Scientific Name Achillea millefolium. Family Asteraceae. Botanical Description It has a rough, angular stem with long, dark-green, feathery leaves. The flowers … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Rowan or Mountain Ash

Rowan or Mountain Ash is an ancient tree used since ancient times. The berries provide a variety of wild edible delights and offer a range of uses in medicine. Scientific Name Sorbus aucuparia. Family Rosaceae. Botanical Description The bark of this small shrubby tree is smooth, shiny and greyish coloured. The stem and branches are … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Broad-Leaved and Curly Dock

Docks have grown in Britain since three ice ages ago, and remains of dock have been found in places where people once farmed, such as the ancient Celts. Broad-leaved dock and curly dock has been used in food and medicine for centuries. Scientific Name Broad-Leaved Dock – Rumex obtusifolius. Curly Dock – Rumex crispus. Family … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Daisy

Daisy, a humble little flower that is widespread in many parts of the world. A children’s favourite for making ‘daisy chains’ or ‘fairy chains’, the daisy has also been used in food and medicine. Common Name Daisy. Scientific Name Bellis perennis. Family Asteraceae. Botanical Description Flower-heads solitary on a leafless stalk springing from the root … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Meadowsweet

Sweetly scented meadowsweet was famous as a strewing herb and as a flavouring for mead. It later gained recognition as one of the plants that contain salicylic acid, from which is derived aspirin and has been used for many of the same complaints for which aspirin is used today.1 Common Name Meadowsweet. Scientific Name Filipendula ulmaria, … Read more

Traditional and Modern Uses of Sorrel

Common Name Common Sorrel. Scientific Name Rumex acetosa. Family Polygonaceae. Botanical Description Common sorrel grows up to 10–120 cm. Its stalks bear clusters of small reddish-green to brown flowers and the bright-green leaves are long, oblong and spear-shaped. Status Perennial. Native or naturalised in Britain, Ireland, Europe, Africa and Asia; introduced to North America and … Read more

Traditional and Modern Uses of Ribwort and Greater Plantain

Greater Plantain and Lesser Plantain belong to a big family of plants called Plantaginaceae. Greater and lesser plantain is also known as common plantain and ribwort plantain respectively. Plantains are a versatile wild edible and herbal remedy. Common Name Greater Plantain and Lesser Plantain. Scientific Name Plantago major and Plantago lanceolata. Family Plantaginaceae. Botanical Description Greater … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard is a common wild herb in Britain and Ireland. Its leaves exude a garlicky smell when bruised or chopped, although the plant is unrelated to garlic. Common Name Garlic Mustard Scientific Name Alliaria petiolata Family Brassicaceae Botanical Description Garlic mustard has straight, stems (hairy at the base) with large green and toothy leaves, … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Cleavers

Cleavers earned its name thanks to the sticky plant’s tendency to ‘cleave’ to human clothing or animal fur. However, this common weed is also a surprisingly versatile wild edible. Common Name Cleavers. Scientific Name Galium aparine. Family Rubiaceae. Botanical Description of Cleavers Flowers white, in clusters of 2-5 together, rising from the axils of the … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Rosehip

Dog Rose (also known as Rosehip), is a climbing wild rose with white-pink flowers and a soft subtle scent. Its deep orange-red fruit, the rosehip, is the most commonly used part of the plant, although dog rose has many other uses in food and medicine. Common Name Dog rose Scientific Name Rosa canina Family Rosaceae … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle is a surprisingly helpful plant in food and medicine despite its stinging hairs, as seen below. Common Name Stinging Nettle Scientific Name Urtica dioica Family Urticaceae Botanical Description An upright plant with dull green, serrated leaves, covered with stinging hairs. The flowers are small, green and catkin-like with no petals. Status Perennial. Native. … Read more