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Knowledge of plant names can give insight into largely forgotten beliefs. For example, the common red poppy is known as "Blind Man" due to an old superstitious belief that if the poppy were put to the eyes it would cause blindness. Many plant names derived from superstition, folk lore, or primal beliefs. Other names are purely descriptive and can serve to explain the meaning of the botanical name. For example, Beauty-Berry is the name given to the American shrub that belongs to the genus Callicarpa. Callicarpa is Greek for beautiful fruit. Still other names come from literary sources providing rich detail of the transmission of words through the ages. Conceived as part of the author's wider interest in plant and tree lore and ethnobotanical studies, this fully revised edition of Elsevier's Dictionary of Plant Names and Their Origins contains over 30,000 vernacular and literary English names of plants. Wild and cultivated plants alike are identified by the botanical name. Further detail provides a brief account of the meaning of the name and detailed commentary on common usage. * Includes color images * Inclusive of all Latin terms with vernacular derivatives * The most comprehensive guide for plant scientists, linguists, botanists, and historians
SOme entries include information on uses and symbolism.
Plants have had symbolic as well as practical meanings and uses since the beginning of human civilisation. This vivid account introduces readers to a rich variety of British and Irish plant folklore, drawing on Roy Vickery's own unsurpassed archives collated over forty years, and a wide range of historical and contemporary literature. Unlike other books which re-use material collected in the Victorian era, this book is based on new material collected by the author, and shows that while some of the wilder superstitions have faded we still cling to the symbolic importance of plants. Putting conkers in wardrobes keeps moths away, and parsley - the Devil's plant - only germinates if sown on Good Friday. A potato in the bed helps do away with cramp and in Cornwall crawling under a bramble bush was considered a cure for blackheads. From plants that foretold births and deaths, to herbal remedies, planting and harvesting rituals, friendship bushes and festive garlands this is a book of rich and living social history and folklore.
An entertaining reference on English folklore features 1250 entries that shed new light on the colorful history behind the holidays, legends, superstitions, traditions, contemporary urban legends, and customs of England, discussing such topics as Mother Goose, Robin Hood, folk cures, wishbone wishes, festivals, and more.
More than 1500 concise and colourful entries that give details on festivals, rites of passage, plant and herblore and theories about folklore are included in this comprehensive dictionary.
Since Latin became the standard language for plant naming in the eighteenth century, it has been intrinsically linked with botany. And while mastery of the classical language may not be a prerequisite for tending perennials, all gardeners stand to benefit from learning a bit of Latin and its conventions in the field. Without it, they might buy a Hellebores foetidus and be unprepared for its fetid smell, or a Potentilla reptans with the expectation that it will stand straight as a sentinel rather than creep along the ground. An essential addition to the gardener’s library, this colorful, fully illustrated book details the history of naming plants, provides an overview of Latin naming conventions, and offers guidelines for pronunciation. Readers will learn to identify Latin terms that indicate the provenance of a given plant and provide clues to its color, shape, fragrance, taste, behavior, functions, and more. Full of expert instruction and practical guidance, Latin for Gardeners will allow novices and green thumbs alike to better appreciate the seemingly esoteric names behind the plants they work with, and to expertly converse with fellow enthusiasts. Soon they will realize that having a basic understanding of Latin before trips to the nursery or botanic garden is like possessing some knowledge of French before traveling to Paris; it enriches the whole experience.
In 1976 John Raven presented four Grey Lectures at Cambridge University which sought to reappraise long-accepted identifications of ancient names for modern plants. These lectures, plus another given in 1971, form the main focus of this book and many of the issues raised within them are discussed further by William Stearn, Nicholas Jardine and Peter Warren, taking account of more research. Also includes an additional two papers by Alice Lindsell, as well as illustrations from her

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