F IS FOR?
FOLKLORE AND FOXGLOVES!
There is a wealth of fascinating folklore associated with many of our favourite flowers. Some of these fables are fanciful whilst others are factual ~ all are great fun to read.
Each year I look forward to the fabulous markings of digitalis purpurea or the foxglove to use its most well known common name. The generic name derives from the Latin digitabulum 'a thimble' ~ a reference to the shape of the flowers, whilst purpurea alludes to their purple colour. It is thought that the common name is from 'fox's glove' but another version is that the name is a corruption of 'folksglove' i.e. the glove of the good folk or fairies who occupy woody dells alongside the flowers. Foxgloves have a number of other names including 'Our Lady's gloves', 'fairy fingers', 'fox fingers' and in Wales 'elf fingers'. Its more sinister names include 'Deadmen's Bells, 'Bloody Fingers' and 'Witches Gloves' which remind us of the plants highly toxic properties.
The foxglove is apparently unlucky if sighted in the house or on a ship and those who hear the 'Deadmens Bells' ring will not be for this world for much longer.
If you fancy reading more on this subject 'Discovering The Folklore of Plants' by Margaret Baker is full of fantastic information.
Why don't you fly over now to ABC Wednesday for further information and frivolity featuring the letter F ?