From time immemorial, people have sought to understand the mysteries of the natural world, giving rise to a wealth of myths and legends connected to plant life. In addition to their imaginative appeal, these oral traditions offered practical advice about which flowers, trees, and plants could provide foods, remedies, and construction materials. This richly illustrated volume provides a treasury of ancient wisdom, exploring the sound principles behind traditional advice, along with a wealth of fanciful beliefs.
Naturalist Ruth Binney recounts charming examples of floral symbolism, linking roses with romance, lilies with purity, and poppies with sleep. She examines tree lore and the association of trees with wisdom and knowledge, from the coveted crown of laurel awarded to ancient Greek poets and Roman generals to the palm branches presented to pilgrims returning from the Holy Land. A survey of the power of plants ranges from the rituals that ensure a good harvest and a newly married couple's fertility to the healing qualities of oil of cloves for toothache, cherries for gout, and aloe vera for burns. Abounding in fascinating facts and fancies, this absorbing compilation will captivate lovers of plants and gardens.
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