Thursday, August 10, 2006


Excellent herbs had our fathers of old
Excellent herbs to ease their pain
Alexanders & Marigold,
Eyebright, Orris, & Elecampane
Basil, Rocket, Valerian, Rue,
(Almost singing themselves they run)
Vervain, Dittany, Call-me-to-you
Cowslip, Melilot, Rose of the Sun.
Anything green that grew out of the mould
Was an excellent herb to our fathers of old.
-Rudyard Kipling(865-1936)

I've missed doing a flower a day so I'm back with the flower of the day according to the French Republican calendar: Yellow Starwort, which is also known as Elecampane, Horse Heal and Elf Dock.

Mrs. Grieve has a splendid long explanation of the history and medicinal uses of this herb:

Also see the Wikipedia article at:

I’m sad but it doesn’t look like this plant grows in my area. Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs says it grows from Nova Scotia to North Carolina and as far west as Missouri.

Thanks to paghat ( for the great quote from Kipling.

Illustration from Koehler’s Medicinal Plants (1887) found at Wikipedia

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