Friday, 30 April 2010

all the text for "a plant game for the Arnolfini, Bristol."


± hairless ann of sprawling habitat, with round stems, cordate lvs; fls 5-38 mm, with deeply bifid white petals, no longer than the spreading, oval, usually hairly sepals; 3-8 red-violet stamens; 3 styles. 5 free sepals, 5 free bifid petals. Seeds round, 0.9-1.3 mm across, red-brown, with rounded warts on surface. Br Isles, Eur; vc in ar, wa everywhere. Fl 1-12. One of the world’s most successful weeds.

Sprawling stems, branched and leafy, the upper leaves stalkless. 2 -14 in. The upper leaves slightly more narrow and lance shaped and the lower ones larger and rounder. The leaves come off the stalk in opposite pairs. Flowers all years, five tiny white petals deeply notched to appear as 10 points. The stem is rounded with a single line of hairs. These hairs aid the collection of water into the plant, which explains its lush look. A potent weed of garden & arable land.

Culpeper: It is so well known to most people, that I shall not give a description of it.It is a fine soft pleasing herb under the dominium of the moon.The juice or distilled water, is of much use for all heat and redness in the eyes, to drop some thereof into them; and is of good effect to ease pains from the heat and sharpness of the blood in piles, and generally all pains in the body that arise from heat.It is good for cage birds, and makes a god dish like spinach, if carefully cooked.A more modern recommendation is for pesto.
One of the most troublesome weeds in gardens and on farms. Nevertheless it is of considerable economic and biological interest, representing a high stage of evolution. Provides food for small birds nearly all year round. Retains a considerable amount of water.

I’d try the pesto or add to skin cooling ointment

Green, lush damp, prolific.
Pamplina, Mouron des oiseaux, morgeline, Daržinė žliūgė, RăcovinăVogelmiere, Pihatähtimö, vesiheinä, Våtarv, gwlyddyn y dom, Craches, Maruns, Winterweed

Keeping upper arms against body throughout bring hands together in front of body, cupping each other, forearms horizontal. Circle your hands out one to each side, rotating in elbow until thumb and index fingers meet in front of your chest palms out. Take them back out and round to cup position. Repeat as you will, trying to alternate the cupping (i.e. left on top of right, right on top of left…)


Ann weed with weak erect stems to 40cm; lvs ± cottony, pinnatifid, with short, oval-oblong, blunt lobes, upper lvs clasping, lower salked. Fl-heads 4mm across, ± stalkless, in dense clusters at first later stalked; short outer bracs black tipped, inner narrow, 8-10mm; ray florets usually abs; achenes hairy. Br Isles, Eur; a on ar, wa. Fl 1-12

A more or less upright plant with weak stems and irregular branches. The bright green, widely spaced leaves are divided into toothed lobes. Flowers all year with compact little flower heads that look like tiny yellow tipped shaving brushes. Fluffy parachute seeds. The name derives from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning ground glutten.

Unpopular with gardeners but prized for its medicinal properties in earlier times. It was used as a poulticing herb in Anglo-Saxon times. Said to be a cure for staggers in horses.Culpeper: This herb is under Venus and is as gallant and universal a medicine for all diseases coming of heat. It is very safe and friendly to the body of man, yet causes vomiting if the stomach be weak. The juice of the herb, or as Dioscorides saith, the leaves and flowers, with some frankincense in powder used in wounds of the body, nerves, or sinews, help to heal them.
I’d feed it to my rabbit, if I had a rabbit

Crinkly but neat

Almindelig Brandbæger, Gewöhnliches Greiskraut, Gemeines Kreuzkraut, Birdseed, Cineraria, Hierba cana comun, Hierba carmin, Hierba de las quemaduras, Pan de pajaros, Suzon, Xenixel, Séneçon commun, Herbe aux coitrons, Séneçon vulgaire, 개쑥갓, Calderugia, Erba calderina, Senecio comune, Verzellina, • ,סביון (צמח) Klein kruiskruid, ノボロギク(野襤褸菊), Starzec zwyczajny, Cardo-misto, Tasneirinha, Cruciuliţă, navadni grint, Korsört, Kanarya otu, creulys

Bend arms at elbow, lifting, (like children doing animal paws) limp wrists. Leaving thumb static curl fingers up and open out repeatedly (keeping palms facing down), a wave like motion also letting wrist articulate in a movement that occurs naturally. 5 curls and pause. Repeat as you wish.


Hairless ann, smaller version of helioscopia (hairless ann 10-30 cm tall; single erect stems; lvs 1.5-3.0 cm, obovate, v blunt, tapered to base, toothed above. Umbel five-rayed, with 5 large obovate toothed, yellow-green bracts; 4 infl-glands, oval untoothed, green; fr smooth.) but with all leaves stalked, untoothed, green, oval, blunt;bracts shorter, narrower than in helio., green; 4 glands of infl crescent-shaped with long horns. Umbel usually three rayed, main bracts in a whorl of 3, oval, pointed, untoothed; upper bracts triangular, pointed. Br isles, Eur; vcon ar, wa Fl 4-11

A hairless plant, branched above. The bracts immediately below the flowers are separate and similar to the short stalked, smooth edged leaves. The flowers of this family are most unusual, they lack petals and sepals. Each cup-like structure contains a female flower and one-or sometimes several-very small male flowers. They are flanked by four or five glands which are often horned. A milky latex sap

The milky latex sap is toxic, and used as a therapeutic agent for the removal of warts and sunspots on the skin. If eaten by cattle or horses it can make them ill, or even kill them. In Africa plants of the same family have been used to provide poison for the tips of arrows. If the seeds are crushed, they yield an oily juice than can act as a strong purgative. But Culpeper warned that the juice was “very offensive to the stomach and bowels by reason of its sharp corrosive quality, and therefore ought to be used with caution”. Recent work also suggests that it may also be effective in treating superficial basal cell carcinomas.

I’d just look at it

Vivid yellow green prettiness

Garten-Wolfsmilch, Albahaca venenosa, Lechetrezna redonda, Mariquita, Pichona, ésule ronde, Euphorbe des vignes, Calenzola piccola, Tuinwolfsmelk, Ésula-redonda, vrtni mleček, Rävmjölks-Törel, Küçük sütleğen, llaethlys bach.

Open palm of left hand in front of body (as if holding something to show) with right hand imagine you are holding a needle between thumb & index finger. Now make the action of sewing one stitch into each finger tip starting with little finger ending on thumb, it is a fairly long thread that you image. Repeat on other side. Continue for as long as you wish.


Ann, 10-40 cm high, often over-wintering, with a strong smell; leaves palmate to base, sparsely hairy, shining bright green, the lfts pinnately-cut; stem and leaves often reddish-flushed. Petals 9-12 mm with stalk, blade 4-6 mm, pink (or white), unnotched; anthes orange or purple; frs netted. Br Isles, Eur, vc in wds, hbs, rocks, shingle. Fl 4-9
Stems branch from the base, some upright and some sprawling; they can have a reddish tinge.

The fern like leaves have three to five lobes, blushing from green to red as they mature. They come out from the stem on stalks opposite each other at intervals. The small bright pink flower has five rounded petals without notches, seed heads form a spike. The leaves if crushed give a strong scent

In the Middle Ages the widespread belief in the “doctrine of signatures” the fiery red of the stems and leaves in autumn led to the belief that it should be used in the treatment of blood disorders and in particular the leaves were used to staunch the flow of blood. It is so rich in tannins which are astringent that this traditional for bleeding is practical & useful. Tannins: compounds that cause proteins in mucous membranes and other linings of the human body exposed directly to the tea to cross-link to prevent leakage or infection. Freshly picked leaves have an odour resembling burning tires when crushed, and if they are rubbed on the body the smell is said to repel mosquitoes.
Culpeper: Herb Robert is under Venus

I’d use it to stop bleeding in a cut.

A delicate dance of leaf & petal

Ruprechtskraut, Hierba de San Roberto, Groot robertskruid, Bodziszek cuchnący, Герань Роберта, Haisukurjenpolvi, Stinknäva, Робертова герань, y goescochStanding with arms relaxed at sides lift left hand as if to cup cheek with fingers a little splayed, tilting head to left at same time, but stop short leaving a space between hand and cheek, pause, return arm to side. Repeat on right side. Continue in this manner as long as you wish.


Comprises some hundreds of closely similat ‘microspecies’, to complex to separate here. In general, a per herb with tap root and basal rosette of lanceolate obovate, sparsely hairy, ±sharply lobed and –toothed lvs; fl-heads 2-6cm across, solitary on lfless, hollow, unbranched stems, several per plant; milky latex abundant, florets bright yellow; no scales among florets; involucre-bracts in 2 erect inner rows, and on outer row of shorter ones that may be adpressed to head, or spreading, or arched back. Achenes ribbed, beaked, with white pappis of simple hairs. Br Isles, Eur; va in mds, gslds, rds, wa, dunes, mt rocks Fl 3-10

Long leaves deeply divided into triangular, often toothed lobes and form a flattish rosette at the base of the plant. Several long-stalked flower-heads may grow upright from the rosette. The flower-heads contain up to 200 individual yellow florets, which close up at night or in dull weather (or if picked and put in a vase). The seed heads create a distinctive globe. Has a milky latex sap. One of the most common weeds in Britain and a constant source of annoyance to gardeners but a great source of nectar in early spring.

All parts of the plant are suitable for use internally & externally. The fresh juice of the plant is applied externally to fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, pneumococci, meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, proteus. The leaves are high in vitamins A & C, can be eaten in salad, blanching makes them less bitter. The flower can be used to make wine and the roots to make a coffee substitute. Used as a tonic and blood purifier, for constipation, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, eczema and liver dysfunction. When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves release ethylene gas ripening the fruit quickly. A liquid plant food is made from the root and leaves. A dark red dye from the root. A cosmetic skin lotion made from the appendages at the base of the leaf blades distilled in water…………I’d give it to my rabbit if I had a rabbit

Sunshine and insects buzzing

Maslačak, Mælkebøtte, Löwenzahn, Sonnenwirbel, Märzblume, Eierblume, Dotterblume, Butterblume, Pfaffenblatt, Pfaffenröhrlein, Mönchskopf, Saurüssel, Brunsblum, Kuhblume, Hundeblume, Pissenlit, タンポポ属, Løvetann, Одуванчик, 蒲公英屬, Swine's Snout

Stand with ams to side palms facing to the back. Raise both arms fairly stiffly to sides to about 45° keeping palm facing back wards, fairly swiftly 3 times then pause and repeat. Continue as you wish


Variable ann or bi herb with erect main stem, 3-40 cm, hairy or not; rosette of pinnately-lobed to undivided lvs; clasping stem-lvs with basal pointed auricles. Fls in erect racemes; fls white, 2.5 mm across; frs erect, cordate, narrowed to base, notched above, flat, 6-9 mm long, on long stalks. Br Isles, W Eur; va weed of wa, rds, ar. Fl ± 1-12.

Stems can be branched or unbranched. Dull green leaves vary from slightly to deeply lobed; the lower leaves form a rosette, while upper leaves clasp to the stem. Small white flowers cluster at tip of stem, the 4 petals are up to twice as long as sepals. The fruit forms a distinctive notched triangle, eventually forming an alternate pattern up the long flowering stem. Seed buried in soil can remain viable for 35 years or longer.A successful weed growing throughout Europe even as far north as Greenland. It is self pollinated and, because of this, distinctive variations tend to establish themselves in particular localities. The odour of the plant is peculiar and rather unpleasant, though more cress-like than pungent

It has an aromatic and biting taste, but is less acrid than most of the Cruciferae, and was formerly used as a pot-herb. It causes taint of milk when freely eaten by dairy cattle. An important herbs to stop bleeding an effect due to the tyramine and other amines; including heavy menstrual bleeding, nosebleeds, and as a post-partum herb. It contains a protein that acts in the same way in the body as the hormone oxytocin, constricting the smooth muscles that support and surround blood vessels, especially those in the uterus. Culpeper says it helps bleeding from wounds - inward or outward - and: “if bound to the wrists, or the soles of the feet, it helps the jaundice. The herb made into poultices, helps inflammation and St. Anthony's fire. The juice dropped into ears, heals the pains, noise and matterings thereof. A good ointment may be made of it for all wounds, especially wounds in the head.'

I haven’t used it…yet

Twiggy pretty, decorative, distinctive

Gewöhnliches Hirtentäschel, Taschenkraut, Schneiderbeutel, Schinkenkraut, Säcklichrut, Löffeli, Herzkraut, Bauernsenf, Bolsa de Pastor, Cucliyo, Devanaera, Jaramago Blanco, Jarilla, Pajito Blanco, Pata de Gallo, Pimpájaros, Zurrón de Pastor, Surron de pastor, Calzoncitos, Pan y queso, Paniquesillo, Sarronets, Bourse à Pasteur, Molette à Berger, Capselle, Bourse de Capucin, Bourse de Juda, Moutarde de Mithriade, Bourse à Berger, An Sporan, Borsapastore Comune, Borsacchina, 냉이, 荠菜, ナズナ(薺), Tasznik Pospolity, Пастушья сумка обыкновенная, Сумочник пастуший, Lomme, Çobançantası, Грицики звичайні, Herderstasje, navadni plešec, Clappedepouch & many many more

With arms to side lift elbows with arm bent so forearm horizontal and hands, splayed, are in front of face, fingers tips nearly touching palms outward facing. Swivel wrist to make palms face your face, do this fast 5 times pause (palms will be facing face) repeat (palms finish facing out). Repeat as you will


A low per herb usually less than 20 cm with runners and erect fl-shoots; 3-12 mm across; 5 free sepals, 5 free bifid petals; petals white, bifid, equal to or slightly longer than sepals; upper bracts and sepals hairy, with narrow chaffy edges. Stasmens usually 10; capsule 9-12 mm long, curved. Br Isles, Eur; vc in gsld, beaches, dunes, rds, wa, mds etc.(Grows much taller in wet muds)

A low, hairy stemmed plant, the non flowering stems are sprawling (up to 20cm across) and the flowering stems more upright. The leaves are fairly rounded lance shape. They come off in pair on opposite sides of the stem and are very hairy. Tiny flowers, five white petals with sepals of same length

Culpeper: The moon owns this herb.The juice taken in wine, or the decoction drunk, cures the jaundice, though of long continuance, to drink thereof morning and evening, and abstain from other drink two or three hours after.It stayeth fluxes of blood at the mouth or nose, and inward bleeding also; for it is a singular would herb for wounds both inward and outward.There is a syrup made of the juice and sugar, by the apothecaries of Italy, which is highly esteemed, and given to those that have a cough, and in phthisic, and for ruptures or burstings. The distilled water of the plant is applicable for the diseases aforesaid, and to wash outward wounds and sores, and apply tents of cloths wet therein.

A favourite weed of mine, I would add to a cooling skin ointment…or just play with the leaves.

Softest creature

Hierba del cuerno, Oreja de raton, Gewöhliches Hornkraut, Gemeines Hornkraut, Ceraiste commun, Ceraiste gazonnant, Mouron d'alouette, Cencio molle, Cerastio cespitoso, Peverina cespitosa, Peverina minore, Gewoone Hoornbloem, navadna smiljka, Höns-Arv, clust-y-llygoden gulddail.

Lift your left hand to your mouth run your ring finger back and forth, very very lightly on your lower lip. Repeat with right side. Continue as you see fit.


contact for further details, the booklet is £6.00 including 2nd postage to UK.