Folklore Thursday: Spring Flower Lore

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I’ve previously written about daffodil and dandelion lore but there’s also plenty of folklore surrounding other spring flowers.



Primroses were once used to treat rheumatism, toothache, muscle aches, insomnia, jaundice and gout.

Many people still use evening primrose oil to treat a multitude of maladies though there is only evidence  of it being of benefit to treat eczema (and even this has been disputed).

However, primrose is edible, and can make a pretty, fresh addition to a salad. Be careful though – fairies are apparently big primrose fans meaning you may see fairies after eating primroses.

The flower is also considered to offer protection – if you put a pot of primroses outside your house, it encourages fairies to bless it. Don’t let the primroses die though, or you may invoke the fairies’ wrath.


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Daisies can also be added to salads – without the risk of ending up in fairy land. Symbolising purity and innocence, they were traditionally used to treat aches and pains, circulatory roles and respiratory issues. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this.

And of course, the daisy has long been used to establish the romantic possibilities with a partner – ‘He loves me, he loves me not.’

Dead Nettles

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Despite their morbid name, dead nettles lack the sting of the nettle and the young leaves are edible. Some people suck the nectar from the base of the flower for a sweet treat (if the bees haven’t got there first). It tastes like a lighter version of honey.

The red dead nettle is also edible. However, both forms of dead nettle are thought to have diuretic properties so you may wish to avoid them if you’re on certain medications.

Dead nettle flowers are known as pixie shoes, so can also come in handy if you stumble across a barefoot pixie.


If you love folklore, join #FolkloreThursday each week on Twitter, and follow @FolkloreThurs. 

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