Since the Seventies, the magnificently bearded Mr Vickery, a botanist at the Natural History Museum for more than 50 years, has been chivvying people for their reminiscences about the legends and superstitions surrounding plants and their usage.
Vickery’s Folk Flora won’t help you identify native flowers, but it will make you think differently about them.
Roy Vickery’s magisterial Folk Flora is an encyclopaedic door-stopper based on a heroic lifetime of scholarship, and full of such wonderful details, covering the entire range of our native flora. There is arguably more folk than flora here: this isn’t a wild-plant identifier, and you won’t find much about whether elderberries or nettles really are good for you, only that our forebears believed they were. For that advice, you need a good up-to-date field guide and herbal.