Category Archives: Roots

Arbutus unedo

Strawberry Tree – Arbousier In autumn you can’t miss this tree when you come across it.  The fruits are so noticeable, initially green, then yellow, orange and finally red.  They resemble strawberries, hence the name.  As the strawberry tree has … Continue reading

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Cichorium intybus

Wild Chicory – Chicorée sauvage Wild Chicory, in summer, is a very common plant here in Provence and very easily recognisable with its bright blue flower-heads.   It is sometimes slightly hairy with branched stems, height 30-100 cm.  The basal … Continue reading

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Euonymus europaeus

Spindle Tree – Fusain d’Europe A native to much of Europe, belonging to the Celastraceae family.  It grows in open woodland, clearings, hedgerows but always close to water.  The tree can reach a height of 3-6 m.  The leaves are opposite, … Continue reading

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Saponaria officinale

Soapwort – Saponaire officinale With the mild weather and some rain, a lot of wild flowers are making their appearance.  Soapwort is one of them and very easy to recognise.  Native to Europe and Asia, a perennial 30 – 40 … Continue reading

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Alliaria petiolata

Jack-by-the Hedge – Alliaire officinale Jack-by-the-Hedge is a common herb found throughout Europe.  It is a biennial.  The first year it produces a rosette of leaves, the second year it flowers.  The leaves are triangular to heart-shaped with serrated edges. … Continue reading

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Tragopogon pratensis and Tragopogon porrifolius

Goat’s Beard – Salsifis des prés It is quite a common plant in our area.  An annual to perennial, 30-80 cm tall with a 25 cm long edible taproot. The leaves half clasp the stem, they are grass-like, tapered to … Continue reading

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Symphytum officinale

Comfrey – Consoude Comfrey is a herb that grows close to water or on boggy soil.  In the Latin name, ‘Symphytum‘,  the Greek word ‘symphuein’ is hidden, which means to ‘grow together’.  The name indicates what the plant was used … Continue reading

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Ranunculus ficaria

Lesser Celandine – Ficaire fausse-renuncule The first part of the Latin name, ‘Ranunculus’ comes from the Latin word, ‘rana’, which means frog.  An apt name as the plants grow near water.  The small roots of Lesser Celandine resemble haemorrhoids (piles) … Continue reading

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Chelidonium majus

Greater Celandine – Majus de Celandonium Greater Celandine is a native to Europe.  It has been used medicinally for centuries.  It is a very good example of how the ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ was interpreted:  the plant, when cut or bruised, … Continue reading

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Hepatica nobilis

Liverwort/Liverleaf  – Anémone hépatique The flowers of the Liverwort are exquisite.  It is one of the first plants of the year to flower.  The sepals vary in colour from blue to purple, pink and even white, but most commonly they are … Continue reading

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