Archive for the ‘Borage Family’ Category

Plant dyed wool swatches

Recently ( a couple of weeks ago, now) I spent a few days down in Bury st Edmunds, old stomping grounds of mine, visiting my mother.   I always love visiting other parts of the country – it’s wonderful seeing what different herbs there are growing that I don’t have locally!   This time, we visited West Stow Anglo Saxon village, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect – there were some Viking re-enactors there, including an absolutely fantastic Viking herbalist!  I stupidly enough didn’t ask her name, but she was truly wonderful – with pots of different herbs, including dye herbs, swatches of naturally coloured wool, stones with runes on, and she was wearing a dress coloured with plant dyes as well – I think it was Woad, this time.   Spending time talking to her was an utter delight – she was bright, lively and knowledgeable, and told my mum and I all about herbs for various health conditions as they were used back then.   Talking to her was the high point of my visit (spending time with mother aside, of course!)  If you’re reading this, lovely Viking herbalist lady, please do get in touch – it would be great to chat with you further about plants!

The truly lovely Viking herbalist I spent a very happy half an hour chattering with!

There were loads of wild flowers growing there that we don’t get much around here – including Houndstongue, and Stonecrop, plus Bittersweet, which we do have a little of around here, but not that much.

Houndstongue – Cynoglossum officinale, and would you look at that, its a member of the Borage family!

Houndstongue! Very very pretty, and rather unobtrusive :D

… and another Borage family member, Bugloss (Anchusa arvensis)

To continue on the Borage family mutterings, there are a few other members of the Borage family – most notably Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria) and Green Alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens) which are both dye plants.  I don’t have any pictures of Alkanet (yet – I’m working on it!) but we do have a lot of Green Alkanet growing near us!

Green Alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens) – A dye plant, apparently one that yields the same colours as Alkanet (Alkanna) thought I can’t confirm that yet as I haven’t have chance to play around with it. :D

This is the colour that Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria) yields on thin silk – really lovely, though not the rich colour I had anticipated!

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Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)

When I first became interested in herbs, nearly 15 years ago, Lungwort, the intriguing spotted member of the borage family, was one of the first plants to really captivate me. Something about its woodland and shade loving tendencies, the spotted leaves, the flowers that change colour so charmingly, really piqued my interest and kindled imagination, and the name itself – Lungwort – really fascinated me at the beginning of my descent into the murky cauldron of herbalism. As is typical with many of the herbs with an old and venerable history behind them, Lungwort has many different folk names, including Jerusalem Cowslip, Soldiers and Sailors, Llysiau’r ysgyfaint, Spotted Dog, Maple Lungwort, Spotted Comfrey. Herb of Mary, Virgin Mary’s Mildrops and Bethlehem Sage.

A delightful shade loving perennial, Lungwort lives in shady sections of gardens, and sometimes naturalises to woodlands and well shaded hedgerows. The leaves are lanceolate, coming to a fairly sharp point, and also narrow fairly abruptly at the base, and are spotted with white or soft cream. The whole plant is a little on the bristly side, much like many members of the borage family. I’ve never found that it grows overly large in size, remaining small and compact. It contains many constituents in common with the rest of the family, including allantoin, flavonoids, mucilage, tannins, mineral salts such as silica and vitamin c, though apparently the dreaded pyrrolizidine alkaloids so common to this family are absent from this particular member.

Used internally, the herb is expectorant and emollient, excellent for hot, tight, congested chest complaints as it encourages production and removal of excess phlegm. Being drying, it can also be used to dry conditions such as bronchitis and laryngitis as well as diarrhoea. The allantoin content is probably responsible for its use topically in wound healing – I’d be interested to find out just how much allantoin this plant has in comparison to comfrey, just to make sure that it was safe to use on open wounds! Apparently Lungwort is particularly good for advanced cases of lung illness, where long inflammation has begun to break down the connective tissue that supports the lungs. (For more about this, read Matthew Wood’s excellent book ‘The Earthwise Herbal’ – it deserves a place on every herbalist’s bookshelf!) The silica, apparently present as silicic acid, restores elasticity to the lungs, while the antibiotic properties may well be partially responsible for its reputation as a wound and tuberculosis herb. Intriguingly enough, though we tend to use it predominantly for lung complaints over here, over in France it is traditionally used for the heart, especially for cases of palpitations and tachycardia. I’m going to have to do some more research on this one, as if this is true, it will be a useful addition to the range of remedies available for this sort of problem. Strangely enough, Mrs Grieve has little to nothing to say about the herb, a problem that I’ve found pretty much across the board where my books are concerned (a sign that I need to expand my library, perhaps?!)

The leaves are edible, and can be used in salads and as a pot herb, which it was used for extensively in the medieval era, to add bulk to soups and stews. I just love an all purpose plant! Better yet, the bees love it, and it is one of the earlier flowering spring plants. What’s not to like??

I tried a tea of the dried herb recently, being unable to obtain the fresh herb. I found it had a similar scent to that of the dried tea of Comfrey and Borage, however on drinking, I found it lacked the honeyish undertones that the aforementioned herbs both had. The flavour is slightly astringent, minerally and moistening. I found it ‘sat’ on my lungs more pronouncedly than borage or comfrey did, but more comfortably after a few minutes. It seems to have less mucilage than comfrey, which had a pronounced ring of it sitting in the cup and forming a layer on top of the tea. It certainly is much more drying, and for me at least, I noticed a much greater expectorant quality than that offered by comfrey. On first drinking, the tea descends noticeably to the chest and lungs, but this pressure lifts after a few moments to facilitate easier breathing. Unlike borage, the tea did not seem to linger around the eyes, but I did feel as though the top of my head and around my sinuses were more comfortable and less congested after drinking one cup of the tea. I don’t think this herb is anywhere near as cold as borage is, nor does it seem to give any heightened level of alertness after drinking, unlike the borage – and both myself and my colleague / lab rat agreed on this! It seems to facilitate introspection and quiet, but not sleepiness.

Overall – this little beauty deserves closer scrutiny, and I just may use this as my first subject for Goethian plant study in the hopes of learning a little more about this forgotten gem. It has also brought back to light the problem concerning a lack of information on many of the herbs that have fallen out of fashion in favour of using other plants, often brought in from overseas, but I am not going to get off topic here. I may have a bit of a rant about that in a later post, so watch this space if pithy and pointed comments are something that interest you! Suffice it to say that it is high time I added more of the older eclectic herbals to my bookshelf…

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White flowered Comfrey

Commonly known as Knitbone, Boneset (this should not be confused with the other herb named Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum).Knitback. Consound. Blackwort. Bruisewort. Slippery Root… Yalluc (Saxon), Gum Plant, Consolida, and less flatteringly as Ass Ear, Comfrey enjoys a rich history of use for medicinal purposes, being one of the old favourites for bone healing, though this is certainly not the only healing gift this plant bestows!

 As another member of the boraginaceae family, Comfrey shares some of the characteristics of this plant family – the hairy leaves and stem, basic leaf shape and configuration of leaves bear a resemblance to that of Borage, covered in the last post. Comfrey grows easily in most temperate countries of the world, including North America, Europe, western Asia and Australia. The plant prefers to grow in damp, marshy soil, and can easily grow as a garden plant. I have one in a tub, and a rather pretty plant it is as well, though requiring a lot of water – in a warm, dry spell, the Comfrey and Valerian are always the two plants that keel over first! The flowers are small and bell shaped, usually white or pink in colour, and a marvel of delicate beauty when observed closely, resembling stained glass in direct sunlight, at which time they are heavily frequented by the bees. The plant grows up to 1 metre in height, in clumps, favouring wild land as well as thriving in gardens. We have quite a bit growing locally that has self seeded in the public green lands.

I’m pretty sure this is Russian Comfrey

At the moment, Comfrey root, rhizome and leaf are all used in herbal medicine, though the root has rather high levels of PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) in, so this part should be used with a certain amount of caution. The leaf has been eaten steamed as a leafy green vegetable for hundreds of years, and still is to this day despite the controversy concerning the alkaloids. Alongside the alkaloids, comfrey also contains allantoin, thought to be the constituent responsible for much of the healing effect due to its cell proliferant activities, as well as mucilage, steroidal saponins in the root and anti inflammatory phenolic acids.

Rueld by Saturn, I tend to view Comfrey has being a useful herb for helping the body to reimpose borders and boundaries, as well as to soften up overly rigid borders and boundaries. Being a bone herb, the link to Saturn can certainly be seen in this action, Saturn generally held as being the planet responsible for borders, boundaries, and rigidity – and what is bone if not rigid and an imposer of boundaries? The body would lollop all over the place without our skeletons, after all! Appropriately enough, the herb is associated with the Goddess in Her aspect of the Crone, i.e Hecate, Cerridwen and Death Goddesses such as Inanna – unsurprisingly enough the herb is cold and dry in temperament.

Comfrey buds

Comfrey leaf tea smells rich and earthy, rather like that of nettle in fact, though the colour is more of a soft, earthy brown. Within seconds of pouring, a rich, rainbow coloured surface has developed on the top of the tea, and the mucilage can clearly be seen adhering to the sides of the cup. The flavour of it bears little resemblance to nettle, possessing instead a slightly similar taste to that of dried Borage, its close cousin. Like Borage, the tea tastes cooling and dispersing, and seems to weigh a little heavily on my chest – again, I’m well aware that this is because my temperament tends to be cold and moist, and any more cold added tends to sit like a lead weight on me. Unlike Borage, however, there is less of a sense of the held breath, more a sense of astringency as the herb gently dries back some of the excess moisture. I can also feel the tea slowly seeping its way down to my stomach. The overall feeling is rather pleasant, much more comforting than Borage but no less effective and powerful. Comfrey is like a steadying hand on the shoulder – and is not a warrior herb, not in the way of Borage, with its encouragement towards clarity and calm assessment of a situation, whilst still being poised on the brink of action. Instead, Comfrey is like the grandmother, wise and calm and urging a feet on the ground, compassionate appraisal of a situation that will still not hesitate to give a smack if a smack is called for. After all, sometimes grandchildren need discipline! Interestingly, I can still feel Comfrey around my eyes, relaxing tense facial muscles, so perhaps it has something of the same gifts as its cousin after all? The astringent qualities come through a few seconds after a mouthful of tea, as a slight dryness develops in the mouth. I can feel myself breathing more easily – perhaps it is time to start using Comfrey as well as Plantain for the lungs, instead of sticking to what I have done previously, using Plantain for the lungs and Comfrey for the stomach. Again, I can feel Comfrey at work, reinforcing boundaries and pushing moisture out of the lungs. I have no tincture here at present, so will have to forego learning more of this herb through tasting the herb in alcohol. Perhaps it is time I added grandmother Comfrey to my dispensary! I do love these plant tasting sessions, such a wonderful way to add to my knowledge base and learn more about an individual plant. It is at times like this that I begin to ponder taking the time to conduct a few Goethian plant studies instead of merely dipping a toe in the water and declaring myself too busy.

Comfrey leaf

Externally, Comfrey has a well deserved reputation as a wound healer due to the presence of allantoin in the herb, speeding the healing of sprains, strains and broken bones. It was previously used to heal minor cuts and grazes as well, though I personally wouldn’t recommend this – Comfrey speeds up healing to such an extent that if you are not extremely careful, muck can get trapped in a wound and result in an abscess as the top heals over faster than the bottom of the wound. Instead of Comfrey, I’d use Calendula for open wounds. The herb can be used as an infused oil or salve to treat strains, sprains, fractures, breaks, damaged ligaments and tendons and related injuries that do not have damage to the surface of the skin, though again some caution is urged – while some herbalists will gladly use lots of this herb, others caution that cell granulation can occur on the site of broken bones due to the allantoin speeding up healing too much. I tend to use it as a lovely infused oil, alongside Arnica and St Johns Wort in the healing of sports injuries – I used to do a lot of martial arts, and found that this mixture worked beautifully on a torn ligament I sustained that pretty much drew all such pursuits to a halt for some weeks.

Internally, the plant can be used to treat overly hot conditions affecting the digestive system, such as acid indigestion, peptic ulceration and as part of the treatment for IBS, as it calms spasms. The mucilage content also provides a protective layer over the surface of the villi, allowing time for inflamed, damaged areas to heal properly. The herb is astringent, and can also be used to treat haemorrhage and diarrhoea. The mucilage content means that the herb can be used in the treatment of lung troubles and coughs as well as in digestive complaints. I’ve always used it primarily for stomach complaints and used Ribwort Plantain for the lungs instead, though perhaps it is time I broke myself of such a limited approach!


I use Comfrey to help people build structure and form in their lives, creating order out of chaos and allowing them the strength to be themselves and organise their lives accordingly. The herb can also be used to help heal emotional traumas, grounding and soothing the person so that they can heal and get on with their lives. I think this herb brings steadfastness, and the courage to face the future, possibly as the result of its ability to ground and heal emotional wounds. If a person is especially ‘scattered’ then I might back up the action with a little Dandelion root and a little Horsetail for extra grounding and to reinforce the lesson on how to impose borders and boundaries, but again, this is personal preference. I think that Comfrey possesses the ability to reach down into a person’s underworld, the murky, swampy parts of the psyche, and offer clear vision as well as a hand up into the daylight again. Better yet, it allows a person to take a good, long look at their own personal underworld, and to bring back wisdom with them.

In the garden, Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandica) can be mixed with Nettle and left in water to ferment, as this makes a gorgeous rich plant food that stinks to high heaven – the plants love it though!

 Food for Thought

 While there is some debate concerning just how safe Comfrey is, I personally would go ahead and use it as normal if I thought it would serve a purpose that could not be adequately served by any other herb. The big issue with the PA content is that it can be liver toxic in large doses or when consumed over a long period of time. To me, the answer to this seems pretty clear – use your head, and don’t use it in large doses or over a long period of time! The tests and whatnot that have been done thus far seem to concern doses of the PA excerpt only, administered to rats (poor rats…) – which seems a bit odd to me, as rats and humans have rather different physiology. As usual, the answer would seem to be that common sense is the best way to go. Use your head, do your research and make your own mind up! Don’t write Comfrey off just because of the damning alkaloids – treat her with respect and she’ll work with you well!

Next up will be Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinale) – one of the first herbs I worked with when I first got interested in herbs!

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Blessed with a multitude of names – Starflower, Burrage, Bee Plant, Bee Bread, Bugloss, Herb of Gladness, Borak, Lisan selvi, Lesan-El-Tour, Star Flower, Cool Tankard and Euphrosinum to name but a few – Borage has long had a reputation as a highly esteemed medicinal herb.

Borage, flowering in the veg patch

The plant is a tall, graceful annual that self sows readily from the previous year’s plant – quite literally, if you sow seed or buy one plant, you can pretty much guarantee a whole load of seedlings germinating later the same year, as well as pretty much every year afterwards. Borage grows surprisingly tall and broad, and tends to sprawl happily over everything if not given sufficient support – last year I had to uproot a load in the vegetable patch because they were taking over the place, and I was hard put to it not to yell ‘TIMBER!!!’ in a loud voice as the green and blue giants toppled over. The leaves and stems are coarsely hairy, as you will discover if you try and pick them up without very sturdy garden gloves – the hairs will pierce through clothes quite easily as well, and can leave you with sore, prickly feeling skin afterwards if you aren’t careful. The leaves are a pain in the backside to dry, as, being from the same family as the rather fragrant garden compost Comfrey, as soon as the leaves begin to rot they stink to high heaven. Unfortunately they begin to rot very easily – I tried to dry some last year and gave it up after 12 hours as the smell rapidly became unbearable, and this was despite gathering the herb carefully so as not to bruise the leaves. The leaves are roughly oval, coarsely hairy and a blue green colour. The stems are even more hairy, and rise to yield beautiful blue flowers much beloved of the bees during late spring, summer and autumn. The fresh plant, bruised, smells distinctly of cucumber, and a tea of the fresh leaves tastes rather like cucumber as well. The flowers make a lovely and delicious addition to salads and drinks in the summer months, and, as the folk name suggests, bring extra coolness to drink.s Being native to North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe, the plant likes a well drained soil and plenty of sun, which is probably why it thrives so readily where I live, as the soil is light and sandy and very well drained.


We tend to use the leaves and flowers for medicine, as fresh as possible, and the seeds provide a lovely seed oil that has plenty of omega oils in and is held in high regard by many people. The plant contains pyrollizidine alkaloids (PAs) and choline, as well as mucilage, tannins and essential oils. The seeds contain fixed oils and EFAs such as gamma linolenic acid and linoleic acid, but do not contain the liver toxic alkaloids and are therefore safe. With regards to using the plant, because of the liver toxic PA content it is not recommended to use Borage over long periods of time, especially not if you have had trouble with your liver in the past. Why ask for trouble if you don’t need it? Honestly, I find Borage so cooling and moistening that I would not want to use it over long periods of time anyway.

A rather unusual four petalled Borage flower – and the characteristic slightly pinkish unopened buds.

The plant’s planetary ruler is Jupiter, which is quite interesting as it suits hot tempered people far more than it does those with a phlegmatic or melancholic temperament. I tried some Borage the other day (more about this in a little while) and I found that it sat on my chest like a heavy, wet blanket, and damped me down too much. I tend to have an overly phlegmatic temperament – very cold and phlegmy as a general rule, hence this herb does not suit me at all well. My colleague, who is far more choleric / sanguine in temperament, took to it like a duck to water (an appropriate analogy, all things considered!) and found that Borage gave him the quiet space to breathe and just be. It also damped his temper down considerably and made it much easier for him to be calm and thoughtful instead of short tempered. Long considered a warrior’s herb, Borage is ruled by Llew, Lugh and assorted Warrior Gods (probably Taranis and related Gods, as well as Aries.) The distinction here, as far as I am concerned, is that Borage is a herb for warriors – those who think before they charge in. It gives you that breathing space to consider your action carefully before you commit to it, and would perhaps balance out those who tend towards berserker rages – the sort who leap in all guns blazing and do stupid things that they perhaps would not do if they had a cooler head.

I’m inclined to think that Borage is cool and moist to the second degree at the very least – to me, the effect is very pronounced on tasting the herb. The tincture, made from dry herb in this case, I suspect, has a rather honeyish flavour, and is not cooling on first taste – it is quite sweet and neutral in flavour and character, slightly floral, with a diffusive, gently stimulating and warming taste, though how much of this is due to the herb and how much is the alcohol content remains to be seen. The cooling nature becomes apparent a moment or two after tasting the herb, as it quickly spreads outwards through the body, dispersing as it goes, like a fine spring rain instead of a steady stream following a set channel. It feels cooling in the sense that it disperses heat evenly through the body instead of allowing it to pool in one place. Five minutes after tasting the tincture, the head clears, and consciousness seems to lift slightly, sitting evenly behind the eyes and surveying the world with a dispassionate calm and far greater focus. My colleague described it as the feeling you gain from standing at an open window onto green spaces on a sunny day. To me, this herb is masculine in what I feel is the purest sense of the world – calm and level headed, with the controlled energy to do whatever needs to be done without the need to indulge in ‘pissing contests’. For ‘hot’ personality types, Borage is cooling and calming without being sedating.

Gorgeous silky petals!!

The tea, both of the fresh and dry plant matter, behaves in a very similar fashion. After the first couple of sips the facial muscles begin to relax, most especially around the eyes, and the focus narrows a little. For my colleague, the effects stopped there, with a sense of physical and mental readiness. For me, as a phlegmatic type, I found it a little hard to breathe, and became particularly cold in my lungs, causing tightness of the chest and a tendency to hold my breath.

Personally speaking, I primarily use borage for nervous exhaustion and varying stages of adrenal depletion, with all its accompanying symptoms of depression, anxiety, inability to handle stress and general malaise. As the herb is cooling, it is particularly good for those with a generally hot constitution – those who tend to get head rushes when they stand up too fast, who generally do not allow themselves to express anger or frustration but for whom it tends to manifest quite strongly as a flushed face and high blood pressure. Borage is cooling and soothing but not trapping. Interestingly, it is generally used for those with a melancholic constitution although personally speaking I would not be inclined to use it for this particular constitution – the herb is cooling and moistening, and I really think it would need balancing by something temperate or even slightly warm and moist.

Borage has the old reputation as being able to strengthen the heart, although whether or not this is by physical or emotional means is a different matter entirely – not a great deal of research has been done concerning Borage’s actions.

Borage can also be used for lung complaints, in particular hot, dry, inflamed complaints such as bronchitis, chronic catarrh and related problems. This is another interesting one because I’ve noticed a connection between an inability to express anger and negative emotions and repeated, deep seated chest infections. I think Borage helps a person lift out of emotional quagmires and view them from a more dispassionate vantage point, allowing them to see their way out of issues and devise better plans of attack.

Borage can also be used to treat a few women’s issues, ranging from postpartum exhaustion to menopausal hot flushes. It can also be used as a galactagogue, to increase milk production in nursing mothers, though honestly there are quite a few other herbs that do this that do not have the rather dodgy PA content in!

As a mild diuretic, the plant is also sometimes used in the treatment of inflamed, hot urinary tract infections such as cystitis and nephritis.

The cooling, soothing properties of borage can also be of benefit in inflamed gastric conditions such as colitis, gastritis and gastric ulceration – I’m willing to bet especially where this is due to stress and anxiety. It is also a mild laxative and can be used to treat mild constipation – again, probably where this is in part due to anxiety and tension. Use with caution in conditions where the system is hyper relaxed and overly soggy.

Both Culpeper and Gerard used it as a convalescent’s medicine, for those who have suffered or are still suffering chronic long term illness.

A young Borage plant

Moving on to the more esoteric properties of the herb – much in the same way as mentioned in the spiritual and energetic uses of the plant, Borage is used in spells and incenses to bring courage and strength of character, and to bring hope and lift the spirits in dark and difficult times. The herb is associated with the hierophant card in the tarot. I’d probably be inclined to use it in spells for strength of purpose, as well as in any tight spot where clarity and focus is required to see a way out. A tea of the herb can encourage psychic powers.

The herb can be used in rituals to explore the warrior’s path, the masculine, linear side of the personality, and to make a tea or oil used to consecrate weapons. The incense can be used to invoke various warrior Gods, though as mentioned earlier, it is for the warrior side of this equation, not the berserker kind who throws themselves in without thought.

On an energetic level, this herb is great for those who set themselves impossible standards and cause themselves exhaustion as a result, and probably also by extension for those who are extremely self critical and never give themselves a break. The old saying states that ‘I, Borage, bring always courage’ and it certainly does just that – I’ve used it for patients who are facing big decisions and major life changes, as well as for those who are just about scraping the bottom of the energy barrel, and have taken it myself for similar things. It always has a great effect and somehow manages to take the edge off panic, making for a cool head and rational decisions. For this sort of use, I’d suggest drop doses only – and this is certainly the dose I would use, myself.

In folklore, the name Borago quite possibly derives from the Latin ‘corago’, meaning ‘to give heart’ or courage. Apparently the herb may be the famed herbal wine mentioned by Homer, used to bring complete forgetfulness (though enough of any alcohol will probably do just that!) The herb was held as sacred by the druids, and an alternate possibility concerning the name mentions that it may be derived from the celtic word ‘borrach’ meaning ‘brave person’. The celts would steep the leaves of the plant in wine and drink it before going into battle or any other daring escapade (cattle raids spring to mind…) The herb has retained its popularity right up to the present time, and was very popular in the medieval era as a garden plant.

All in all – Borage, the founding plant that the entire Boraginaceae plant family is named for, is a worthy and useful plant ally, giving courage and clarity in tight spaces. Get to know him and he will assist well with many different problems!

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I’ve been becoming increasingly intrigued by plant families over the last couple of years, and in how to recognise the tenuous links between various plants that show some sort of family relationship.  I’ve been having particular fun recently with the Borage family – probably because we’ve got at least four members of it growing locally, all of whom are in flower at the moment!  The plan over the next couple of weeks is to blog about this plant family and about some of the members of it that I can get my grubby mitts on easily over here – today’s post will be a brief introduction to a few members.   So, without further ado, I present…

…The Borage Family!!!!   (Imagine a big fanfare at this point and a huge blue velvet curtain slowly being lifted!)

Borage (Borago officinalis) is from what I can tell the plant the family is named after!

Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) This one’s a garden cultivar, I suspect, though the original looks fairly similar. This was actually one of the first plants to kick off my fascination with herbs!

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum, if memory serves)

Green Alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens) – we have masses of this growing quite readily around my neck of the woods. Really very pretty!

Forget Me Not – Myosotis spp. If I can get a decent picture of Woodland Forget Me Not, I’ll post it, but the flowers are so tiny that it truly is a blink and you’ll miss it plant! Forget Me Not is actually just about my favourite spring flower – I find the sight of it utterly enchanting!


Over the next two weeks I shall blog about each of the above beauties (ok, maybe the two Comfreys will go in one blog post…)  and I’m going to be meandering on about Borage plant botany as well, just because I can, and because it gives me a good reason to polish up my old plant botany skills and add to them!  Hopefully this will prove interesting to some of you, and there will of course be the usual quantities of pretty pictures!


Eternal Alchemy

Spring’s sweetness steals my words.

I can only watch, breathless, delighted,

as the oldest, truest alchemy of all

turns winter’s leaden skies

into the green and gold shades of spring.

Blue sky above,

and flowers, the scented breeze

better, more intoxicating,

than even the rarest honeyed mead.

The world renews around me, my feet

bare on the warm soil, the green grass,

verdant leaves inviting my touch,

adoring the sun’s return, just as I do,

face turned to the sky as the sun

slides warm hands over my skin,

silken breezes and longer days

seducing me anew.

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