Lesser celandine
Lesser celandine

Lesser celandine flowers (Ficaria verna) begin to appear from March and along with the primrose are a harbinger of spring.

By some peculiar medieval logic, the plant is also known as pilewort since the knobbly tubers look like hemorrhoids!

The “doctrine of signatures” states that many herbs that resemble a part of the body can be used to cure an ailment of that body part.  Through their shape or colour, God gives us a clue or signature of their use.

Further examples in this vein are lungwort and spleenwort.  So the wood is an apothecary, but I’ll be getting my ointments and tonics in Boots for the time being.



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