Today is National Weed Appreciation Day. As witches, we don't look upon the weed as something that needs digging up/pulling out/dousing in weedkiller etc.
"A weed is but an unloved flower" is a good quote.
The good old weed is a plant that deserves its place in nature along with everything else. Obviously, if it grows like wildfire and it's in danger of taking over your garden, then by all means, it will need cultivating to keep it in check!
There are many magical and healing properties connected with them - they are what the cunning folk or wild witches turned to for medicine, spellwork and food. Varieties are numerous and I've covered dandelion in my 'Musings of a Village Witch' blog for March, so here are a few others that you may or may not be familiar with..
Oxalis or Wood Sorrel
This has grown in my garden for years and I never knew the name of it until now. I've always liked it as the pink flowers it produces are quite pretty. They close at night and open in the daytime. Further research shows that I have another variety in my garden - smaller with yellow flowers which grows more prolifically. Both have leaves shaped very similarly to the clover plant.
Folk names: Common wood sorrel, Sleeping Beauty, Wood Sorrel
Magical Properties: Healing - both physical and spiritual, love and happiness
Associated Deities: Fairies, Elves and Woodland Spirits
Very much a spring time plant - beautiful glossy leaves and yellow starry flowers that are very similar to buttercups. It is a member of the buttercup family and can be found in woodland, grassland and in our gardens. After the winters bareness, it is quite lovely to have these pretty flowers spring up and brighten things up! Like the Oxalis, its flowers open in the morning and close at night.
I've seen a lot of this on my walks and it quite a pretty flower but it does die back from April onward, so if using in the UK, you could harvest and dry some now for any magical workings.
Folk names: Figwort, Pilewort, Brighteye
Magical Properties: banishing, power and action. Getting things done, perfect from when you need that extra 'oomph'!
Associated Deities: Bast, Belinos, Diana, Hecate, Artemis
I mentioned this in my March 'Musings' blog but didn't know the name of it. You learn something every day!
This plant appears sticky but in fact, its got lots of small hooked hairs on it - the stem, leaves and seed pods, all have these. Tiny green white flowers are produced around May until August followed by the seed pods which are small and round. The seed pods are produced at a rate off 300-400 and are easily distributed. Wildlife, dogs and ourselves will pick them up as we go by to be carried on to another place to germinate and I know as far as my dog is concerned, with his fur, they are a bit troublesome to remove.
Folk names: Goosegrass, Bedstraw, Sticky-Willy, Gripgrass
Magical Properties: Protection, commitment, relationships
Another pretty plant - this time with candyfloss pink and white flowers. A member of the geranium family which favours shady areas like woods, hedgerows and banks. This is another plant that I had seen out and about and had admired it but didn't know the name of it until last year. It's quite easy to recognise - the mid-green leaves are palmate shaped with lots of points and the protruding stems are red. The flowers each have 5 petals and are pink with white stripes down the centres of each one.
Folk name: Storkbill, Cranesbill
Magical Properties: Fertility, Love, Health