jinian: (Collomia grandiflora)
[personal profile] jinian
Mugwort - I know this is a thing from Chinese medicine, where I think they burn it (yes, and look at all the foods too), but what is it? Oh, Artemisia vulgaris, the plant to which I am so very allergic that as soon as mine in the herb garden bloomed I sneezed for half an hour straight, and my dad went vengefully to yank it out and fling it down the gully. All right then.

Sweet gale - The next thing to bayberry, Myrica gale.

Water purslane - There are North American plants called this, but Laura would have found Lythrum portula. The dreaded purple loosestrife is in the same genus; Lythrum isn't closely related to regular-type purslane, which is in the Portulacaceae. I assume it's called that due to being edible, though I don't see any reference to its being slimy, so how can it be purslane?

Succory - Chicory! How did that happen? The OED says: "Alteration of cicoree, sichorie, sycory, old forms of chicory n., q.v., after Middle Low German suckerîe, Middle Dutch sûkerîe (Dutch suikerei, older Flemish suykerey, succory)," versus "< French cichorée (now chicorée) endive, chicory (= Italian cicórea) < Latin cichorium, cichorēum, < Greek κίχορα, κιχόρεια (neuter plural)."

Tailors' needles - I judge this is probably a type of Bidens. Although the only plant I can find with that exact common name is Scandix pecten-veneris, as an umbellifer it seems very unlikely to smell of honey. Bidens species are often called [adjective] needles for their long, burrlike seeds, and do smell of honey in some cases. (American gardeners can imagine Coreopsis; the two genera are intimately involved.)


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