Dandy dandelions

The exhibition Flora Orcadensis on now at Custom House, Kirkwall, Orkney, explores the 1914 book of the same name by Magnus Spence. Ingrid Budge has looked at the wider list of Orkney’s wild flowers and I have concentrated on the plants used in folk medicine.

I thought I would post a few over the course of the show…

dandelionSmall
Dandelion, high resolution scan, single edition printed on photo rag. £250 framed SOLD

Dandelion
Dog-flooer
Taraxacum officinale

‘A decoction of the roots was taken for stomach and liver affections; the flowers also were infused, and the sweetened infusion taken for colds.’

Magnus Spence, Flora Orcadensis

‘It is hard to believe that more than 230 micro-species of this one species have been identified in Britain…In Orkney 19 micro-species have been catalogued..two of these micro-species have been found nowhere else in the world, and one – Taraxacum orcadense – has even been named after our county, following its discovery in Mainland and on Cava.’

The Orkney Book of Wild Flowers

‘Dandelions once were widely used as a diuretic and for urinary disorders, hence the names Piss-a-bed and Pissimire. In addition it was regarded as a quinnine substitute and used to treat sore throats, chests and stomachs.’

The Orkney Book of Wild Flowers

black and white photograph of a dandelion stem, it is curled in a spiral due to weed killer.
Curled dandelion, Papa Westray, Single edition digital photograph on photo rag £140

 

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