Archangels (Lamiums) Red archangel (Lamium purpurea) White archangel ( L.album)
Henbit archangel ( L.amplexicaule) Yellow archangel ( Lamiastrum galeobdolon)
Through sun and rain, the country lane,
The field, the road, are my abode.
Though leaf and bud be splashed with mud,
Who cares? Not I!—I see the sky,
The kindly sun, the wayside fun
Of tramping folk who smoke and joke,
The bairns who heed my dusty weed
(No sting have I to make them cry),
And truth to tell, they love me well.
My brothers, White, and Yellow bright,
Are finer chaps than I, perhaps;
Who cares? Not I! So now good-bye.
Cicely Mary Barker
A delightful selection of plants often known as dead nettles as their leaves resemble the nettle but have no sting. I prefer the name archangel which seems more deserving and refers to the fact they are still in flower on Archangel Michael’s Day ( 29th September)- Michaelmas.
Archangels grow on cultivated and waste land. The yellow species ( considered less herbal although can be used) tends to grow on heavy spoils of wood and hedgerow and differs from the others with its more robust aerial shoots. The white species is not seen in more natural habitats and seems to crop up around areas which were early Norman settlements so may well have been introduced as food. The red and white can both be added to salads or cooked as a vegetable, they were both once eaten by humans and prepared as pig food.
As a tea the plant is uplifting and as a healer can aid green wounds, ulcers, bruises, burns and ‘draweth’ splinters. It has also been said it can be used magically to protect cattle and as a guardian against black magic and evil spirits.
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Poetry of flowers
Join me to explore the flora of the British Isles on this blog. My intention is to attempt to capture the unique quality and beauty of each species of flower, tree or shrub. For every species featured I will be growing many more wildflowers to celebrate the joy of their existence, their intrinsic conservation value and bewildering array of uses. For nearly 30 years I have noted, studied and explored wildflowers in the field much to the patience of the walker beside me. To share this passion is a heartfelt plea to respect, preserve and care for all British Wildflowers no matter how common they seem.