Thanks lovelies, for the extra info on the wild cherry! Here’s two replies to my post on folklore and magical uses of the wild cherry from charlottesarahrichards and sleepyoldowl,
More beautiful blossom
I can’t resist taking photos of blossom at the moment - this is in our local country park. I’m pretty sure it’s the wild cherry (Prunus avium).
Curiously, I can’t find much in the way of folklore or traditional remedies associated with the cherry despite it being a British native - even in the ever reliable A Modern Herbal by M Grieve.
Culpeper says the dried fruit of the cherry is ‘cooling in hot diseases and welcome to the stomach, and provokes urine’. He suggests using the gum of the cherry tree dissolved in water to ease coughs, encourage the appetite or dispel wind.
The cherry gets a brief mention in the Medieval Welsh poem The Battle of the Trees (Cad Goddeu), where the enchanter Gwyddion calls up all the trees in the forest to help him defeat an enemy.
‘The alder-trees, the head of the line, formed the van… Privet and woodbine and ivy on its front, like furze to the combat the cherry-tree was provoked...’
Cherry is probably best known for its wood, which is much prized for cabinet making, furniture, parquet floors and musical instruments.
Poor old cherry, it’s been a bit overlooked. Does anyone know of any bits of folk wisdom or magical uses for it?
[sources: Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, 1653; Book of Taliesin VIII: The Battle of Goddeu, 14th C]