History Past Events - Medicinal and Edible Plants Walk

Medicinal and Edible Plants Walk - Saturday 21st July 2012

photo of Celia Cox at work

Celia passing on her knowledge

Updated: 25th July 2012

The audience at the Medicinal and Edible Plants walk and talk in St.James' Park were amazed by the depth of knowledge of Celia Cox, MSc(Botany) BVetMed.Cert VR, who shared medicinal and edible plant use facts and folklore from Greek Mythology through to Tudor salads and current day uses.

Celia's visit to St.James' Park was organised by the FoSJP History Research Project and the Tudor Revels Project.

Our wildflower area on the Winchester Road bank of the Park, planted through a BBC Breathing Places grant in 2008 and renovated in Spring 2012 by the FoSJP Gardening Team, provides fabulous examples of wildflowers that were available to locals of old. Celia showed us which plants were used for medicine and which for food.

Photographs of the walk and talk are shown below, followed by a short guide sharing just some of what we learned.

All photos by Michaela Lawler‑Levene

See our Wildflower Guide page to learn more about the wildflowers in St.James' Park and how they're growing.

A Short Guide to some Medicinal and Edible Plants

Updated: 26th July 2012

Here are just a few selections of plant lore that Celia shared with us.

Wild Carrot - also known as Queen Anne's Lace

Wild Carrot is identified by its white lace‑like flowers, which on some have a pink spot.

It is also known as "Queen Anne's Lace" and the pink spot is said to be where Queen Anne pricked herself sewing. Some of the newly emerging flowers can also be slightly pink. Another identifying feature is the ruffle of leaves underneath the flower.

Although parts of the plant are edible, it is not lawful to dig up this plant without the permission of the land owners.

photo of Wild Carrot photo of Wild Carrot
photo of Wild Carrot


The stinging parts of nettles are on the stems and veins on the back of the leaves.

Nettles have many uses, both medicinally, with anti‑inflammatory properties, and as a dye and conditioner. They are edible in soups, or as an alternative to spinach.

photo of Nettle photo of Nettle
Click here for Mary South's article about Nettles
Reproduced by kind permission of Mary South; first published in the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery May 2008 newsletter.

Lime - also known as Linden

The wood of the lime tree is popular for wood carving.

The flowers are used in a tea, and are known for having relaxation effects.

photo of Lime photo of Lime

Find out more about Celia's work on her website wildplantdiscovery.weebly.com

Be warned - Celia's talk came with a health warning, and neither she nor FoSJP can accept any liability for people trying plants. If you are not experienced, do not try this at home!

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