Folklore On Plants

Conrad Richter conrad at richters.com
Wed Dec 7 12:30:53 EST 1994


lpindzol (lpindzol) writes:

> Do any of you plant experts have any folklore about flowers, herbs, or
> plants in general which I, as a college student, could use in my folklore
> paper? I am specifically trying to connect the symbol of LOVE,romance, to
> plants. 
>                       I am interested in superstitions, predictions of finding a mate. 
> Anything really would be helpful.  
>                       Some ideas to guide you, or revive your memory include things such as;
> reciting "s/he loves me, s/he loves me not", as one is pulling the petals
> off of a daisy,  kissing under the mistletoe, giving a red rose for
> passion, the superstision of not bringing violets into the house if they
> are covered with dew because the oldest daughter will not marry.
>                       Thanks for your help.
>       

How about heartsease, aka wild pansy (Viola tricolor): 

"And maidens call it Love-in-Idleness.
Fetch me that flower, the herb I showed thee once.
The juice of it, on sleeping eyelids laid, 
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees."

  - from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

Heartsease has long been used to ease broken hearts and charm 
Cupid's arrow.  It was also a remedy for venereal disease.  

(We featured this plant and the above quotation on the cover of our 
1994 herb catalogue.)

Conrad Richter


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