Back Lane Lungwort

Thankfully, Lungwort tends to grow on unloved bits of ground, like my back lane, giving colour right up to the Summer

Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) – does what it says on the tin, both in name and the patterning on the leaf.

Both the common and Latin names have lung associations. The lobed patterning on the leaves was thought to indicate its use as part of the Doctrine of Signatures. Opinion is divided on the Doctrine – Nature’s (or someone else’s) way of guiding people to medicinal plants? Or a visual mnemonic – an easy way people found in the past to remember what plants are used for?

Either way, medical herbalists use Lungowort for lung conditions and it is easy to spot, brightening up slightly neglected patches. I’ve also seen it at Camden Market, flourishing in a scrappy flowerbed near to the vintage shops – there to keep the smokers company perhaps…?

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