Sunday, 25 April 2010
Sweet woodruff and wild tulips
I grow quite a few unusual/rare plants and trees in my gardens, and thought I'd share a few with you.
These two are at their best at the moment.
The wild tulip is a stunning little flower; I bought half a dozen bulbs from e-bay at the back end of last yaar, potted them on, then planted them under one of the crab apples in the orchard; they will naturalise there in the long grass.
Tehs econd one is sweet woodruff; I've never seen it growing in the wild, but bought a very small and expensive pot of it a few years back. It's nwo settled in very well here, and is creeping getnly about and I now have several colonies of it; after this flowering, I'll split one of them again and plant on the shaded side of the back pond. Best used dried for household use, it has the scent of new mown hay, being picked and dried after flowering. A tea can be made from it, but taken with caution:
"Medicinally, woodruff was a valuable herb in the Middle Ages. It has been used as a calmative; diuretic, diaphoretic and antispasmodic. Folklore says that it could combat jauntice and nervousness and could regulate heart activity. The fresh leaves were applied to wounds and a tea made from it was said to ease stomach cramps. Today, while it can be used in potpourri, teas and as a garnish, the USDA generally recognizes it as safe to use only in alcoholic drinks. It has been know to cause vomiting and dizziness in large quantities and the chemical that gives woodruff its fresh fragrance ~ coumarin ~ has caused liver damage in lab animals."
It is safer used fresh, traditionally used in German May punches.
Posted by MrsL at 20:16