Today in the French Republican Calendar (Prairial 20) honors a tool, the Pitchfork. So I went looking for plants associated with the day and found (at
(http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/jun8.html) that June 8 is the feast day of St. Medard, a rain saint, whose plant is the moneywort. Not clear why, but it might have something to do with water, as moneywort loves to grow in moist ground and along streams.
Mrs. M. Grieve explains that moneywort gets its name because the leaves are set two by two on the stem, the leaves are almost circular and they lay flat on the ground, like coins. The flowers are big and golden, like money as well, and they blossom in June and July.
And there are even more detailed photographs at Dave’s Garden: Here’s one:
One of the great benefits of writing about a plant a day for this blog is that I’m now a plant detective. Yesterday, on my way to work, I tracked down another linden in my neighborhood and saw that the flowers are just hard green buds, even smaller than peas, at the moment.
Now I’m on the trail of moneywort. When
The 17th century herbalist Culpeper says that it is ruled by Venus and is good for stopping bleeding, either internally or externally, and for healing wounds. He recommends using the juice of the herb, or making a decoction in wine or water.
Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, Wordsworth 1995
Grieve, Mrs. M, The Modern Herbal
Illustration of St Medard from:
Illustration of St Medard crowning the Rosiere: