Happy Publication day! Fez Inkwright
THERE’S MORE TO A FLOWER THAN JUST PRETTY PETALS AND A PLEASING SCENT
Our relationship with plants is as age-old as humanity itself. Both historically and today they fill a powerful purpose in our lives—as food, medicine, shelter, clothing—and our ongoing fascination with them shows no sign of abating.
Having already written about the folklore and history of medicinal plants in Folk Magic and Healing, it’s only natural that next my attention should have turned to the other side of the mirror… those of toxic nature and ill-repute.From the cyanide in apple pips to the guardianship of yew trees over our dead, Botanical Curses and Poisons: The Shadow-Lives of Plants looks at the toxins, black magic, and hexes of the plants that we share our lives with. It also includes a history of the art of poisoning, a study into wise women and early European witchcraft, and a discussion of the ill-designed Doctrine of Signatures.
Containing the profiles of 70 plants from across the globe, you won’t just find poisonous plants but also the ill-mannered of their kin, from the flammable—such as grasses that create purpose-made wildfires and bushes with incendiary atmospheres—to the cannibalistic and the murderous. Curses and sorcery abound also, with old folk methods for undoing baptisms and creating clay poppets, or grass that can bestow ravenous hunger and flowers that may doom someone to never marry. One tree even has a reputation for stripping the paint from cars that have parked beneath it.