Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Spot On Lady's Mantle ( Dewcup )
Candy Cat walks along the stone wall , Lady's Mantle ( Alchemilla vulgaris ) is growing on either side of her. Lady's Mantle, or Dewcup, grows well and easily in the shady, sunny, damp, and dry parts of our gardens. Lady's Mantle grows well along the wooded edges, in the driveway, and it pops up in our red stone entrance gardens.
Lady's Mantle is growing here, next to the hostas. Lady's Mantle is very hardy and grows 6 to 20 inches in height ...but it grows bigger in our gardens. If you click on the picture below , it will enlarge and you can clearly see the dew drops that collect in this plant and will glisten like diamonds when the sun catches them.
"From "little magical one" , the Arab alkemelych ( alchemy ) comes Alchemilla, so-called because of this herb's healing reputation and the dew that collects in each enfolding leaf. The crystal drops of dew have long inspired poets and alchemists and were part of many mystic potions. So powerful a herb was acquired by the Christian Church , which named it 'Our Lady's Mantle'." THE COMPLETE BOOK OF HERBS by Leslie BremnessI read many of my herb books and in all of them Lady's Mantle is recommended as the herb to infuse as a tea and drink to help alleviate "women's troubles". I harvested the leaves of this herb , dried them, and then when the time came I thought I needed some tea of this plant, I quickly changed my mind when I caught a whiff of the smell. YUCK! I decided that the smell alone was enough to make any woman decide she really did not feel so bad after all...
My Lady's Mantle is a lovely plant for our gardens. It is now beginning to bloom. I will take more pictures of it in bloom later. The blooms are gold, and on long stems.My herb books say that Ladys' Mantle leaves are good for making a green wool dye, I might try that. The leaves are also supposed to be good for making infusions to help skin conditions, under eye puffiness, and to make compresses for healing wounds. I just might try this too . I have used comfrey to heal wounds, and calm irritated skin. But no, no...never, never will I consume this in a tea!
"I would heartily advise all men of meanes , to be stirred up to bend their mindes,
and spend a little more time and travell in these delights,
of herbes and flowers, than they have formerly done,
which are not only harmlesse, but pleasurable in their turn, and profitable in their use. John Parkinson (Theatrum Botanicum 1640 )