Silly (?) Superstitions

The continuing discoveries of a 21st century artist and naturalist …

A black cat crosses the road in front of your car and you make an ‘X’ on the interior of the windshield.  You avoid walking under an open ladder because that, too, is considered bad luck. We grow up around and absorb many superstitions.  I always meant to ask my step-mother why, if we were going somewhere and had to turn around because something had been forgotten, she always said, “Bread and Butter.”  I guess that will be a mystery I may never solve.  But superstitions often have a basis is truth – if a cat, or any animal crosses your path, you run the risk of having an accident; the same with walking under a ladder.  If a pail or tool on a ladder fell in the direction of the steps it would be slowed or stopped them, but it would fall directly down if it came off in the other direction.  

While I don’t have any ideas to explain where they might originate, there are often superstitions associated with wildflowers.  

Queen Anne’s Lace is also known as Mother Kill  or Mother Die.  This comes from the superstition that if you took it in your home it would kill your mother.  And I always thought my step-mother objected to it because of it being a ‘chigger flower.’

Queen Anne’s Lace

Family:  Apiaceae; Genus:  Daucus; Species:  carota

Queen Anne's Lace Bloom

Queen Anne’s Lace Bloom

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Anne's Lace Not Yet Blooming

Queen Anne’s Lace Not Yet Blooming

Queen Anne's Lace - Not Fully Open

Queen Anne’s Lace – Not Fully Open

 

 

 

 

 

 

I doubt there are many girls who haven’t spent time plucking the petals from an Ox-Eye Daisy, saying He loves me, He loves me not to find out if the object of their affection felt the same way. 

Ox-Eye Daisy

Family:  Asteraceae;  Genus: Leucanthemum; Species:  vulgare

Ox-Eye Daisy

Ox-Eye Daisy

Perhaps this one will bring back early childhood memories of picking a buttercup and holding it under someone’s chin to see if it reflected yellow on their skin.  If it did then the person liked butter.

Common Buttercup

Family:  Ranunculaceae; Genus:  Ranunculus; Species:  acris

Common Wild Buttercup Duo

Common Wild Buttercup Duo

Common Wild Buttercup

Common Wild Buttercup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Dorsetshire, England where people believe that any home in which Bergamot is kept will never be free from illness.

Bergamot or Bee Balm

Family: Lamiaceae; Genus:  Monarda; Species:  didyma

Monarda didyma  - Bergamot/Crimson Bee Balm - Sunlit

Monarda didyma – Bergamot/Crimson Bee Balm – Sunlit

Monarda didyma  - Bergamot/Crimson Bee Balm - Close

Monarda didyma – Bergamot/Crimson Bee Balm – Close

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know of a wildflower or plant with a superstition associated with it?  Add it to my list here in the comments section below.


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