Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Burnished berries - the summer gently turns

Rowan Berries

The berries of the Rowan have been called the "Food of the Gods" (according to Robert Graves in The White Goddess). It is a native tree to Britain and has many country names which include: the quicken, quickbeam, quickerberry, picken, whitten, whitty tree, witchen. The wood is strong and flexible - it was sometimes used for making long-bows but more commonly for tool handles, poles, barrel hoops, tethering pegs etc. Ripe Rowan berries can be used to make the preserve Rowan jelly which is apparently delicious with cold game and is an excellent source of vitamin C.
(Ref: Ogham - Wisdom of the Trees by Jon Dathen)
Cuckoo-pint (Arum maculatum)

Usually found in woods and along hedge banks - I found these growing by the old wall of a village churchyard. Also known as Lords-and-Ladies, Cuckoo-pintle and Wake-robin. The berries, although eaten by birds, are extremely poisonous to children (and adults).